There are some spectacular banners in the sanctuary that appear to be random, but in fact they were central to the sermon on Sunday night. The text was from Mark 12: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and all your mind and with all your strength.” During the sermon, the red banner (pictured) was the heart reference; the blue one, the soul; and the geometric one (pictured), the mind. A long banner on the left represented strength.
Tom Long, in his sermon, talked about a large storage trunk he kept in his basement. As he cleaned it out he put things in three piles: keep, throw away, and give to rummage sale. As he went through the items, at the very bottom he found love letters he and his wife exchanged when they were dating years before. Harrison’s favorite part was when he said those love letters were like our love for God, at the bottom of our heart, with lots of other junk piled in on top. When we consciously love God and love neighbor, we bring that love up to the top, not buried at the bottom. He went on to explain about the soul, mind and strength that are also needed to love God and love neighbor. It was a beautiful message in a beautiful setting.
Tressa got to play the violin for the sung Prayer for Illumination and the sung Response (“Open Your Ears, O Faithful People” – Yisrael V’oraita), and did a beautiful job! One of Mary’s favorite parts of this worship is that on the hymns, the children and youth sang a stanza on each by themselves. What a lovely sound they made!