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Good evening – welcome to this today's live service in our Temple …

 

This being the first service after a series of events which serve to remind our community  that we are a dynamic body, we are all part of a system which grows, changes, experiences pains and ecstasies as does any organism. We're alive … the TotJO is alive.

 

It would be well to take a few moments to settle into ourselves : to meditate, to contemplate, to intro- and/or outro-spect, or to pray – to actualise our connexion to the Force and to come together in the spirit of our unity …

 

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May the Force be with you …

 

As with most sermons that come to me, this one also is inspired of a few conversations with others – my apprentices and the clergy – as well as others. I've found that it is the surest way of creating a sermon that addresses the concerns we all have. It would then be rare that in these occasions to just 'decide' on something to 'preach' to you. Let us instead use these occasions to explore together that which in the Force arises with us.

 

We've seen a lot of movement recently, and as is quite natural, we've been moved by it. And when we respond to what shakes us, sometimes we are bit confused about why and just how much that becomes important to us. Why do we as Jedi, feel pushed and pulled in the winds of change ?

 

It is through the dynamics of the Force that we feel these things. We arise from it and return to it, experiencing that same dynamism, exhibiting the same characteristics felt in and by the rest of Nature. We cannot always be calm – just as Nature is not always calm.

 

We learn that the 'supreme good is like water' … it keeps to the low places ; it doesn't try to run up hill, it doesn’t compete with things – it flows. We can go with the flow, be in the flow, and the flow lends us its power – we can acquaint this with ‘using the Force’.

 

And then circumstances arise where we feel shaken, disturbed, and even vehement. We feel that we have ‘lost our cool’ so to speak, and we do not feel our connexion to the Force – we feel agitated and turbulent. Well, why wouldn’t we feel moved ? If the supreme good is like water, let us remember that water waves …

 

The Force is dynamic ; Nature is constantly in motion, from the micro- to the macro-scale. And as all things come about by the infinitely diverse movements in the Force, then we cannot expect for that connexion to the Force to remain static. It is constant, but it is also quite dynamic.

 

Water, if always calm, becomes stagnant. Likewise, if we never do anything nor feel anything about anything, we would be stagnant. Water … the supreme good … it is supple and is content to the low places. But, haven’t we noticed just how high waves can get ? How rains and storms can reach a dangerous level of violence ? And how forcefully water can crash and wash away even the most seemingly steady constructions ? Yet, it does not ‘plan’ to be so stirred up, nor does it ‘perpetuate’ the conditions stirring it. It acts according to the conditions and then comes back to calmness. It is not chaos, it is simply asymmetrical order.

 

We also get ‘stirred up’ by conditions. And without planning for it, we must be mindful to respond accordingly, appropriately, and then come back to calmness. And this, not just in ‘stormy’ conditions, but it all of them. We would be more true by expressing ourselves honestly and completely, then being still – not insisting (too much). When we are angry or insecure, let’s be honestly angry and insecure. Thus, once the storm passes, the sun will again come out.

 

As I was reminded, the sun is always there – and even it doesn’t worry about how it shined a million years ago, or how it will shine in a million years …  And as the Force, it too is dynamic, experiencing periods of calm and of periods of intense flaring …

 

Well, as it were, there are times when we even have to accept blowing a little too hard, making a few too many waves and not understanding fully the conditions that are stirring us. But, as long as we remember to come back to the calm, everything will fall into place. It always does …

 

Please greet this in contemplation, as we recite together our Creed :

 

I am a Jedi, an instrument of peace;

Where there is hatred I shall bring love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.

I am a Jedi.

I shall never seek so much to be consoled as to console;
To be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love;
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

The Force is with me always, for I am a Jedi.

 

May the Force be with you all …