Rev. James Stewart Ehrhart, NST, Golden Gate Spiritualist Church,  San Francisco, CA
Delivered March 22, 2009,  Lily Dale Spiritualist Church, New York

I’ve been inspired by the words “to love and to cherish” as the topic of my sermon this morning.

When the moon is in the seventh house
and Jupiter aligns with Mars.
Then love will rule the planets
and peace will steer the stars.

On Valentine’s day this year at 7:25 am, Greenwich Mean Time, this alignment took place and lasted 18 minutes.

Forty years ago, some of us heard the words I just quoted from a musical show called Hair, about the love generation—aka Hippies of the sixties.

The dawning of the Age of Aquarius. We are in the early morning hours of this age and it brings to mind that love is supposed to rule us. And that’s even though we, as Spiritualists, do not teach astrology because it does not demonstrate the continuity of life; the astronomical facts are present. For example, we know that the movement of the moon has a powerful influence on our earth, as well as on people. The full moon’s influence can be attested to by many, especially those who work in service occupations.

… to love and to cherish. Some of us are aware of these words, heard many times when we attend weddings: “…to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health.”

Cherish—from the French “cher” meaning “dear,” to keep fondly in mind; I cherish the thought, the memory, etc.

The natural law of love is the creative source and power of all life, which lifts the heart and soul to the greatest heights of spiritual awareness. As human beings, we are meant to love and cherish everyone.

I am aware of at least three kinds of love:

  1. Instinctual or chemical—think of teenagers with raging hormones as they enter puberty and a few years beyond.
  2. Emotional—often short-lived—romantic love: let’s live together, let’s get married!
  3. Conscious love—pure love. The love that lasts.

One cannot achieve the higher levels of consciousness except through the Law of Love.

Real love is the love of selflessness, the love that seeks nothing for itself. In its highest form, it embraces the whole of humanity. We demonstrate this love when we place the needs and concerns of others before ourselves.

The Law of Love is the constructive force of all forces. It is the highest of vibrations. As Spiritualists, we are called to follow this Law of Love.

We can reflect on 1 Corinthians, Chapter 13, where we find the most eloquent, truthful, and beautiful words ever written on love. Looking at the first few pages of the Spiritualist Hymnal one can find several lines from 1 Corinthians.

Love is divine. To forgive is divine: the law of forgiveness. When you practice forgiveness, you are demonstrating that you have raised your own vibration of love. You no longer hold malice for a negative deed another has committed against you. You are practicing the Golden Rule and, in turn, creating a true sisterhood/brotherhood.

Love is the answer for opening the door to a better you. Develop the practice of giving a smile to everyone you pass each day: a signal that little beams of love are coming from you. In the words of a 16th century Spanish mystic, “Where there is no love, put love, and you will find love.”

Reach for harmony as it is pure love, for love is complete agreement, relax and go with the flow. The law of vibration… is part of the law of harmony, the highest vibration being LOVE.

Where there is love, there is harmony; where there is harmony, there is peace. It has been said that if individually we can achieve a state of peace within ourselves, collectively we could change the world.

The Dalai Lama has said: “…the greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions, such as anger, attachment, fear, and suspicion, while love and compassion, and a sense of universal responsibility are sources of peace and happiness.”

Saint Francis prayed in the 13th century: “Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”

Our souls are ever in the process of making changes. As we practice the Law of Love, it assists in our soul’s unfoldment.

I suggest the practice of making daily affirmations to get us through the day: a word or a sentence that will suffice, such as:

I am happy! I am peaceful! I am loving!

Did you know that when we are motivated by love we expend no additional energy?

Love is both a verb and a noun. What is “this thing called Love?”

We love things, food, art, nature, people. We love as lovers, as children loving our mother and father, grandparents, sisters and brothers; we love those here and those who have passed to Spirit.

There are all of those loved ones in Spirit who are so anxious to communicate with us. Sometimes they just want to hear from us. Talk with them and tell them you love them.

Perhaps you could speak these words from a song written in 1945 by Scotty Wiseman (recorded by Scotty and his wife Lulu Belle, known as the Sweethearts of Country Music, in the 30’s and 40’s). Yes, it’s a romantic love song; but speaks lovingly to all of our loved ones in Spirit as well.

I’m suggesting that you speak these words to someone in Spirit tonight, just before you go to bed. Maybe someone you’ve been forgetting. They may be out of your thoughts and time may have erased many memories of them. They are anxious to hear from you, and have so much to tell you. They miss hearing from you. But they still are waiting—waiting to hear from you, and look forward to being with you again.

One further note: There is the word “darlin” in the song and it is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning dear, as in dear ones are waiting.

Perhaps they are singing this song to you and you have not been listening. It’s time to tell them you love them now! For deep in your heart, you do love and cherish them!

Have I Told You Lately?

Have I told you lately that I love you?
Could I tell you once again somehow?
Have I said with all my heart and soul how I adore you?
Well darlin’, I’m telling you now.

My world would end without a mem’ry of you
I’m no good without you anyhow.
Oh, have I told you lately that I love you?
My darlin’, I’m telling you now.

Have I told you lately how I miss you
When the stars are shining in the sky.
Have I told you why the nights are long when you’re not with me
Well darlin’, I’m telling you now.

Have I told you lately when I’m sleeping
Every dream, I dream is you somehow.
Have I told you that I’d like to share your love forever
Well, darlin’, I’m telling you now.