When I attended seminary, I took my first preaching class with Dr. Theresa Frye Brown. She said many things that stuck with me, but she said one in particular. She said that everyone has one sermon in life. When you hear a person preach week after week there is always one theme that surfaces through every sermon, Bible study, and Godly conversation.
I wholeheartedly believe that. But I’ve modified it a bit. Everyone has one story. Not everyone has a pulpit, but everyone communicates with someone else. And, everyone has one story, one theme that comes out in everything they do. It’s that one thread that is woven in all the stories of their life. Maybe it’s respect or responsibility. Maybe it’s acceptance. Or maybe it’s a negative such as “the world is against me” or “no one likes me”.
My one story is LOVE. I took Jesus’ greatest commandment to heart “to love everyone”. In context Matthew 22:37-37 says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And, the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” I personally think most people do a crappy job of loving themselves. You’ve heard people put themselves down or not try something because they are afraid to fail. I’ve shortened this to “love others”.
I yearn to teach my children how to love. I’m always telling them to be nice to each other and be loving. I get frustrated when I watch the news and I see senseless violence. I don’t like mean-spirited talk of others. I don’t really like mean people (that’s the reason I don’t watch reality shows). Hatred, mean-spirited acts, lie and violence confuse me. Why do people want to act that way? Why hurt someone? What’s the point? What does it solve? And, how does it build your character and make you a better person? It doesn’t.
Love, and loving others that’s my one theme, my one story, my one sermon. Love is what I want all people to feel, experience and share- everything from the love of family, to love of a friend, to the love from a stranger. All are important. So, go out and share some of the love that you have inside.