Return again, Return again, Return to the home of your soul.
Return to who you are, Return to what you are, Return to where you are
Born and re-born again.*
This short, mesmerizing almost chant like hymn is one of my favorites. It reminds me and calls me back to my foundations in a way that only music and poetry can.
Recently, a quotation that I have seen before made its round on Facebook, and I helped move it around by sharing it. Several of my friends shared it from my page as well.
Every one of these religions have and continue to do, in some of their expressions, real harm and violence in the world. At their worst, they all look the same–like violent institutions who devastate the earth and humankind. When the world’s religions forsake their core reason for being–love–they become just another oppressive institution built on using power over others. If they return to their basic message, Love is all they have to offer. At their best, they each do that. Love has that common quality of turning the status quo upside down and inside out, insisting that outsiders are in and insiders are out, that to lead we must serve, that to be free of suffering we must embrace it, that the Beloved can be found in the face of the next person we see.
Unitarian Universalists are no different. We do real harm to each other and others when we lose sight of the Seven Principles and the covenants that we create for ourselves. This beautiful liberal and progressive religion of ours becomes just another repressive, destructive institution when we leave our core: that each person is important, each must be treated fairly and kindly, each is fully accepted as we continue to learn together, each is free to search for what is true and right in life, each has a voice about things that concern them, and that we work for a peaceful, fair and free world where we care for and respect the Earth.
When I try to express our Unitarian Universalist core message, I call it “deep respect” which is, for me, another way of saying “love.” Today is a new day. Return again, return again, return to the home of your soul. Return to who you are. Return to what you are. Return to where you are, born and re-born again.
*”Return Again,” p. 1101, Singing the Journey, Words and Music by Shlomo Carlebach, 1925-1994