Seattle Unity Sermon Video 02-24-2019—”The Light of Truth”

Rev. Karen Lindvig’s Sunday Sermon
“The Light of Truth”

Sunday Service Video February 24th 2019—“The Light of Truth”—Here is the link and player to Rev. Karen Lindvig’s Sunday sermon of 02-24-2019.

The Annual Theme for Rev. Karen Lindvig’s 2019 sermons is “Riding the Tide of Impermanence.”This sermon is titled “The Light of Truth.” In celebration of Black History Month, the sermon begins with a reading by Evelyn Reingold of the famous Langston Hughes poem “Let America be America Again.” (The text of the reading is below.) Karen then describes…(see more below)

Plus Evelyn Reingold offers a reading by Langston Hughes titled “Let America be America Again.”

Rev. Karen Lindvig’s Sunday Sermon—”The Light of Truth” Plus Evelyn Reingold Reading

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Sermon Summary

Title: “The Light of Truth

http://seattleunity.org — The Annual Theme for Rev. Karen Lindvig’s 2019 sermons is “Riding the Tide of Impermanence.” This sermon is titled “The Light of Truth.” In celebration of Black History Month, the sermon begins with a reading by Evelyn Reingold of the famous Langston Hughes poem “Let America be America Again.” (The text of the reading is below.) Karen then describes spiritual practices for dealing with our individual and collective feelings of emotional discomfort and pain. She offers a series of questions for using discomfort and pain for healing and for transforming ourselves as individuals and our society collectively. Such questions help us to move consciously into the pain of the world in order to help alleviate it. Such practices can help us to take care of one another, even if it sometimes means not liking how that feels.

Here are 10 questions that support the pursuit of truth and compassion through dealing with emotional discomfort and pain—questions related to the reading by Langston Hughes that starts the sermon:

1. What does it mean to move consciously into the pain of the world?
2. It means being willing to acknowledge our past and present with open eyes, even if we don’t like how it feels.
3. To not feel it, is to be in denial and then how can anything change?
4. How does moving into the pain of the world help alleviate it?
5. How do we take care of each other?
6. What if we came to terms with the past and felt the pain of it so that it can be transformed?
7. How do we embrace the American Dream if we haven’t healed from a past of slavery and the genocide of Native Americans on which our country was built?
8. That is a question that is raised in Langston Hughes poem.
9. We have practiced this on a personal level.
10. The same principle applies to the collective.

Karen illustrates the importance of dealing with our painful emotions with the 90 second pause mentioned in her previous sermon; through the consciousness called forth by poems such as the Langston Hughes poem; and from the accomplishments of nations such as Germany who have dealt with their horrors of the holocaust through public memorials and education.

Quotations related to this sermon:

Alice Walker:
“We should learn to accept that change is truly the only thing that’s going on always, and learn to ride with it and enjoy it.”

Ida B. Wells:
“The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.”

Langston Hughes:
“Let America be America again. Let it be the dream it used to be. Let it be the pioneer on the plain Seeking a home where he himself is free.“

Jim Bolte Taylor:
“When a person has a reaction to something in their environment, there’s a 90 second chemical process that happens in the body; after that, any remaining emotional response is just the person choosing to stay in that emotional loop.”

Evelyn Reingold Reading of Langston Hughes Poem “Let America Be America Again”:

Let America Be America Again
by
Langston Hughes, 1902-1967

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

Link to this reading:

https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/let-america-be-america-again

Link to the flyer for this service:

https://seattleunity.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/oos-20190224.pdf

 

 

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