Love: Sentiment or Commitment

Love Sentiment or Commitment

“Love is not a sentiment. It is a commitment…” As I drove home from a beautiful weekend in Richmond at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, I was listening to an interview between Bishop Michael Curry and Jen Hatmaker. Bishop Curry is the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, but he is most well known for preaching the sermon heard ‘round the world at Prince Harry and Megan Markle’s wedding. In keeping with that sermon, Bishop Curry spoke a lot about love, and his words resonated with what I had been trying to say with the congregation in Richmond. He said, “Love is not a sentiment. It is a commitment…” 

Love is a Commitment

Love is a commitment God has made to us. Love is a commitment we are invited to make to one another, even and especially to those who might go overlooked or seem unlovable. The time I had at St. Mary’s was too short to get into all the implications of the love of God, but it was a wonderful few days to share some of these thoughts with this congregation about what it means to live in love.

On Friday night, the church hosted a book signing and reception where I spoke and read from White Picket Fences about what happens when we see every human life as a gift. 

On Saturday morning, women and men gathered for a workshop about privilege, harm, and healing. Using the format I’ve laid out in my ebook companion to WPF, Head, Heart, Hands, I spoke about what privilege is, what it is not, how it harms, and how we can participate in healing.

Love

Each table discussed questions and shared with the rest of the group about what questions they want to answer (How did the Confederate monuments come to be erected in our city? and Did the construction of I-95 harm the African American community here? for example), what spiritual and personal connections they want to make (this list included starting a supper club for white and black adults to form friendships, joining a Bible study with women outside of my social group, practicing centering prayer), and what action they want to take on an individual, influential, and institutional level.

Distinction Between Sentiment and Commitment

Sentiment or Commitment

 

On Sunday morning, I had a chance to preach about the belovedness of Jesus and how we can understand our own belovedness by looking to him. And I also taught the adult forum with five spiritual practices that help us receive the love of God. (I only wish I had Bishop Curry’s words from above to share with that group. I did mention that when we talk about the love of God, we aren’t talking about Valentine’s Day warm fuzzies. But I love his distinction between sentiment and commitment, and I want to be someone who knows deep in my soul the commitment of love God has made towards me, and, from that, to be equipped and empowered to make that same commitment towards others.) 

It was a weekend of grace, hope, light, and love, with participants who came from all over the city, women and men, young and old, white and people of color. Once again, it gave me hope for the small, messy, local work of healing.

{Images by Ashley Cameron}

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Hi, I’m Amy Julia.

I write about faith, family, disability, and privilege.

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