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Emilie M. Townes

Wouldn’t it be an amazing world if we could love one another as our first move rather than begin with judgment or fear?  To move beyond “can’t we all get along?” to peer more deeply into “oh what a fellowship?” To feel more intensely “savior God above, God almighty, God of love, please look down and see my people through?” Friends, there is a richer life when we seek to build communities rather than silos.  Yes, it is true that we sometimes struggle to love our enemies, let alone our friends and it is true that we are called to love all those hordes of anonymous people we know nothing about, and are called to love one of the hardest people in the world to love—ourselves.

It can all seem so improbable at times, but I believe that we are not being called to put together a grim list of dos and don’ts.  This is not a piety or a sense of faith that has no joy. It’s not a list of prescriptions that we can never fill, and it’s not as a Holy Spirit check off list that eases our conscience but does nothing for our souls.  Seeking to genuinely love one another, I believe, is a sign that we are seeking, yearning, chasing belief.  Not just a belief in the Divine, but a belief that God loves us, God rocks us, God cares for us, and God does not leave us.

During this holiday season and beyond, let’s open our eyes, hearts, minds, souls, very spirits--and see and feel and touch and smell both the joys and the agonies vibrating in the fractures and whole notes of creation.  A creation that yearns for wholeness a love that is one more piece to the fabric of the universe. One more way to signal this restless journey we are on. One more sign that Emmaus is not the end of the journey but its beginning. 

Season’s blessing one and all,

Emilie Townes signature



Emilie M. Townes
Dean and Distinguished Professor of Womanist Ethics and Society

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