Onlline Sermons

We have posted a lot of sermons from our Universal Life Church ministers. Some are Christian and some are not. You are welcome to use them or just enjoy them as you like.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

A Lesson Of Love

The Universal Life Church offers stories about growth and strength.

May the Lord grant all of us the grace, courage and strength to be generous and kind in our dealings with others especially with those who are less fortunate than we are.
Dedicated staff, he offered a  question:

Two  Choices
What  would you do? make the choice. Don't look for a punch  line, there isn't one. Read it anyway. My question is: Would  you have made the same choice?
At  a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with  learning disabilities, the father of one of the students  delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who  attended. After extolling the school and  its 'When not interfered with by outside  influences, everything nature does, is done with  perfection.

Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as  other children do. He cannot understand things as other  children do.
Where  is the natural order of things in my  son?'
The  audience was stilled by the query.
The father continued.. 'I believe that when a child like Shay, who was  mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an  opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself,  and it comes in the way other people treat that  child.'
Then he told the following  story:
Shay and I had walked past a park  where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked,  “Do you think they'll let me play?” I knew that most of the  boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as  a father I  also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it  would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some  confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his  handicaps.
I approached one of the boys on  the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play.  The boy looked around for guidance and said, “We're losing  by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he  can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the  ninth inning.”
Shay struggled over to the  team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I  watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart.  The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.
In the  bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs  but was still behind by three.
In the top of the  ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right  field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously  ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning  from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.
In  the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored  again.
Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the  potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to  be next at bat.
At this juncture, do they let  Shay bat and give away their chance to win the  game?
Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone  knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't  even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect  with the ball.
However, as Shay stepped up to  the
plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team  was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life,  moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could  at least make contact.
The first pitch came and Shay  swung clumsily and missed.
The pitcher again took a  few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards  Shay.
As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball  and hit a slow ground ball right back to the  pitcher.
The game would now be  over.
The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and  could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman.
Shay  would have been out and that would have been the end of the  game.
Instead, the pitcher threw the ball  right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all  team mates.
Everyone from the stands and both teams  started yelling, “Shay, run to first!
Run to  first!”
Never in his life had Shay ever run that far,  but he made it to first base..
He scampered down the  baseline, wide-eyed and startled.
Everyone  yelled, “Run to second, run to second!”
Catching his  breath, Shay awkwardly
 ran  towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the  base.
By the time Shay rounded towards second base,  the right fielder had  the ball, the smallest guy on their team who now had his  first chance to be the hero for his team.
He could  have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but  he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too,  intentionally threw the ball high and far over the  third-baseman's head..
Shay ran toward third base  deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases  toward home.
All were screaming, “Shay, Shay,  Shay, all the Way Shay”
Shay reached third  base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by  turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted,  “Run to third!
Shay, run to third!”
As  Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the  spectators, were on their feet screaming, “Shay, run home!  Run home!”
Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate,  and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won  the game for his team
“That day”, said the  father softly with tears now rolling down his face, “the  boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and  humanity into this world.”
Shay didn't make  it to another summer. He died that winter, having never  forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming  home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero  of the day !
We  all have thousands of opportunities every single day to help  realize the “natural order of things.”
So many  seemingly trivial interactions between two people present us  with a choice:
Do we pass along a little spark of  love and humanity or do we pass up those opportunities and  leave the world a little bit colder in the  process?
A wise man once said every society  is judged by how it treats it's least fortunate amongst  them.