A line that has always stuck with me from back in the comedy club days is something my friend Dave said in a dating game. When he was told he was very philosophical (his character was anything but), he replied, “Oh no. On the surface, I’m sure I come off as really deep. But deep down, I’m quite shallow.” It was a great line, it got a great laugh. I believe it kept him from being eliminated in that round of the game (though elimination does not mean anything, like a lot in short-form improv). And it has always made me think: What is at the core of identity? Of personal, social, religious, moral—any adjective you want: what makes something something?
For the last two weeks, and the next two weeks, we’re looking at what makes the Disciples of Christ the Disciples of Christ in worship. We’ve talked about unity informed by diversity, and about liberty being defined by disagreement. And this week, we’re tackling the last part of a long phrase, “In all things, love.” I wonder if that’s the real uniting and liberating factor—not unity and liberty, or convergence and conversation, but love. To keep up the conv- theme, however, let’s use the word “convert.” It’s a loaded word, but it fits into the alliteration. Convert simply means change.
Love changes things. It changes people, it changes motives, it changes agendas, it changes outcomes. There is a reason why it’s the most sung about, most written about, most sought concept in history. And at the end of the day, love wins. So if we call love conversion, to what are we converting, or are we converting other people? Is it both? Is conversion an act that requires sacrifice, compliance, authorization or acknowledgment? And what happens if we are loved so deeply, so fully, unto the core of our being, that perhaps all we should do is respond as best we know how?
But I’m probably getting ahead of myself. I look forward to seeing you Friday for Men’s Cooking, Saturday for the Pre-Pride stuff, and Sunday for worship and the parade. Get and stay hydrated, folks! See you on Sunday.