This conclusion to Ryan’s Fall Retreat sermon series tackles the very real presence of the Enemy in our lives. The vacuous, all absorbing fake selves Satan drives us to create can be just as destructive as the amoebas which devour our physical minds. Ryan tells an ancient story of Saint Francis and Brother Ruffino, and how we can recognize the works of the devil and deny him in the strongest possible language.
For this sermon Ryan focuses on how a statement like “No One Likes You” can be so scary and hurtful to us, and how it can be a defensive, preemptive strike. This statement exposes the insecure and neurotic vanity which is taken for granted as the currency for human relationships. God’s love makes our decoy selves unnecessary and gives us the possibility to speak of our neediness and to be secure in who we are.
This second sermon from the series “Actually, You’re Loved: Sustaining Confrontation with the Intimate God” considers the anger that is often present in human relationships. The various experiences and feelings that accompany anger are discussed, as well as the nature of the deep hurt it creates in us and others. Furthermore, Ryan speaks about anger resolution and a proper understanding of God’s anger.
As part 2 of the Friday evening talk, Ryan dives into the question: “You Stopped Loving Me Today?” and how it is evidence of our deeply rooted fears for losing love or our hurt received from distorted love. He highlights the fear and paradox humans face since human intimacy is beautiful, profound, and a gift, but also transient, imperfect, and fragile. The steadfast love of God is the key to valuing and enjoying human relationships without hoarding or distorting them.
This is the opening talk for Ryan’s sermon series at Fall Retreat 2018 and part 1 of the Friday evening sermon. We begin the retreat with St. Augustine’s understanding of the love of God, and an overview of the various conversational artifacts which make up the titles for the sermons that weekend. Also, we discuss the value of self love, how that fits into a Christian perspective, and love as a relational activity.