Trinity 10, Devotion

Faith, love, and devotion…we often hear of a devoted parent, teacher, or child who seems exceptionally devoted to someone or some office. We often hear of some pastor or minister who is devoted to his or her church or congregation. But seldom do we hear of those who are truly devoted to God. What does devotion look like? Who measures the amount of devotion contained within each act?

As part of the censing of the candles, the celebrant may say, “I will instill within myself strength, harmony, and knowledge, service, adaptability, and devotion.” We are not called to possess large quantities of these aspects…just to instill them over and over with faith and love, to gently nurture those qualities that may help us to become spiritually mature beings.

Devotion may be the most difficult to bring into being because we have so many ways to measure it. Just being in the moment, just breathing in the moment, can we experience devotion? I breathe, I think, I concentrate, and I become devotion. I don’t compare its essence to anything because in this moment no other thing exists except my thought and feeling of devotion. Then I let it go. From there on, I am devotion. I don’t need to know anything else.

Jesus said to give up all that we possess to follow Him, and in that one moment I give up everything, everything I think I know or have been told I know about devotion and become devotion. Jesus never quantified the statement. He never said He would be keeping count or measuring our attempts, and I am not looking for a loophole in my practice of faith and devotion to Christ. I do what I do without personal judgement or guilt but with the full conviction that I am loved. One breath at a time, one moment at a time I give myself up to being devotion.

Having singleness of thought is nothing new or difficult. We do it all the time. For example, when we put on our socks, we are thinking of putting on one sock at a time. For the moment all there is is putting on that sock. Starting the car, when we are putting the key in, we are not thinking of leaving the drive…we are engaged in putting in the key. These small things all amount to being in the moment. We have many events of being in the moment…why not have one moment devoted, one breath to being, devotion? Then whatever comes after comes after, but for that one moment, I am devotion.

What does it feel like in that one moment? Do you get the feeling that you don’t ever want to do that again? Was it fleeting? Maybe you didn’t feel as if you got enough so you want to do it again and again. Devotion is a personal event, not to be weighed and measured, compared or judged, but experienced as a moment of communion with the Divine. Then let it go. Get on with all the events of daily life. In all the hours of the day, in all the days of the year, take one moment to be devotion. You may be surprised that one moment leads to another and that the moments continue to thread together so that being devotion becomes a part of who we are. We become filled with the faith that devotion gives us. We become filled with the brightness of the everlasting light, and we will radiate that light in our lives always.

That is what devotion gives us—the everlasting light, the everlasting light that comes from God’s love. God is love, and power, and truth, and light, and the light everlasting comes to us through faith, love, and devotion. We are not that light, but we can bear witness of that light, because God is light and love, and God’s love fills us with that light, and it is the light of His Being that shines upon us. Faith, love, and devotion…one moment, one breath. Breathe, please, breathe the free air of devotion.

Rev. Lee Dunn

July 27, 2008

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