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Trust Me on the Sunscreen

Succinct aphorisms ironically hold more truth than complex theology. See what I mean in this week’s edition of “Isn’t That Ironic?”.

“Trust me on the sunscreen.” So ends a famous article by Mary Schmich which was published in the Chicago Tribune on June 1, 1997. It was her humorous attempt to write a graduation speech, dispensing pithy wisdom for 18-year-olds to ignore. It was turned into a hit song known as “Desiderata for the 90s”. It’s also become a little slogan I use often—but nobody really understands it. People just give me funny looks. But I’m used to that.

But it’s a great idea to condense voluminous theology into catchy aphorisms. I sometimes imagine Jesus saying something like this just before his crucifixion. As he’s going out the door, metaphorically, he turns to the apostles and says,

“Hey, guys, trust me on the sunscreen. This is the key: Love each other as I have loved you. See ya’ round.” (heavily corrupted version of John 13:34)

In all the arguments, divisions, violence, murder, and torture of the past two thousand years of Christianity, this little summary by Jesus remains the core of his teaching—Love. It’s ironic that something so simple and uncontroversial could cause so much controversy. Whatever else you understand, or don’t understand, about Jesus’ teaching, practice this. Whatever you despise in other denominations and other religions, remember it’s all about Love. St. John said, “God is Love”. And God is all there is. So Love is all there is. Everything else is illusion. Even the Beatles got it right, “All You Need is Love”.

We are approaching that time of the year when we celebrate the coming of Jesus into the world, the coming of the Prince of Peace, the rebirth of Love in our own hearts. This year, many of us are separated from those we love most. More than any year in my memory, fear has displaced love. Right now, we need love more than ever.

The good news is, we can do it! We have Love because Love, like God, dwells within us. We are temples of the Holy Spirit. It is truly the Love of God that is within us. We just need to let it flow!

In this last week before Christmas, try setting aside everything that bothers you, annoys you, drives you up the wall—other people, governments, silly rules, whatever is separating you from Love. Try taking a few minutes every hour to be still and reflect on the love of God in your heart. Let that love flow through you, out into your neighborhood, your town, your country, and encircle the whole world.

This is what Christmas is all about—Love.

God Bless You!

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