Written by and published for Leandros Von
Since We are all no doubt currently anticipating the upcoming festivities and celebrations I thought that it would be good ground for Today’s Sermon.
December 25th is Anniversary Day here at TotJO and marks the beginnings of the temple as an International Church recognized by Law. This no doubt was a huge step for our Patriarch Br. John, and solidified this forum as the place of worship that we enjoy now. With that in mind I would ask that everyone on the day amidst the unwrapping of gifts and spending time with our loved ones, just take a minute of reflection and feel gratitude for all of the hard work that went into the building of TotJO, and for the work that still goes on behind the scenes to keep this place of worship and community going strong.
As I was raised in the christian faith I found it somewhat amusing that we share the birthday of the temple with the birth of Jesus Christ, this led me to wondering about other faiths and celebrations that share this day also so I done a little research and found a lot of mythology linked to the date. I won't pretend that I read everything but along the way I did come across an interesting festival celebrated by the inhabitants of the Chumbivilcas Province in Peru which is named “Takanakuy”, the festival basically involves a lot of dancing, drinking and fighting to resolve old conflicts.
This is not to say I'm telling you that drinking and fighting is the way to go here, but I thought perhaps there is an air of Jediism in this.
The Winter Solstice is observed the same day in the dying and rebirth of the sun in the sky so perhaps it would be a good time for us to take stock of what is really important. Making peace with our friends and loved ones that we may feel estranged from at present and letting go of our petty egotistical grudges, apologizing and acknowledging the things we have done wrong and trying to spend the day in a state of pure love and compassion to bring a smile to everyone else around you. In letting go of the past on this day our connections like the sun can be reborn, make the day about giving not only material gifts but the gift of love and positive intentions. Free everyone from the burden of grudges and hurt and spread cheer even if it only lasts for one day it will make all the difference in the coming new year.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
I myself recently had a little revelation of sorts the other night, I was lying in bed with my partner sound asleep beside me and I got up to use the Bathroom. As i was doing so I moved my pillow so as not to shine light on her face as I left the room and wake her, looking back at her sleeping there I felt this great sense of what I can only describe as fulfillment. We don't have the greatest of means, or the nicest of houses and sometimes life can be a bit of an uphill struggle, but I realized that all that really mattered was how much I love her.
Then in that feeling of my soul's contentment come a need to share it with others so that they too can experience the Joy I felt wash over me. This is my reasoning behind what I write here today in the hope that you too can feel the comfort and importance of the human connections in your life and pass that on to those around you.
Now I do not wish for this sermon to put a damper on everything, or come across as preachy, I only ask that as Jedi we make a note to stay mindful of what we have learned and pay it forward.
I'll add to this that we have also learned that we must “Follow Our Bliss” and for that reason, I say to all please do enjoy this festive season, whatever your faith and however you choose to celebrate it.
Thank you for reading and “Happy Holidays”, may the force be with you all.