This week on Morning Edition I heard a story about fitness guru Richard Simmons; yes that sweating to the oldies guy. What I discovered was that 40 years ago Mr. Simmons was an overweight actor who was trying to get in shape and discovered that gyms where designed for folks who were already fit. He decided he wanted to create a place where anyone could go to exercise and they would leave feeling not only that they had succeed but a little better about themselves as well. So he saved money from waiting tables, rented a store front and began teaching aerobics classes for 12 dollars a class. His philosophy, show up when you can, and all are welcome in whatever shape you are. And it caught on, and Simmons became a celebrity who’s sold millions of fitness videos. Now he spends his time on the speakers’ circuit and in TV appearances but whenever he is at home he shows up at the studio and teaches classes to whomever shows up for 12 dollars a class, because this is, he believes his calling and his ministry. And I thought when I heard his story this week, that this is truly someone who is able to live his passion.
Each week at HUCC the invitation we offer to all is, to live your passion; the passion that calls you to be who you are and serve others with your unique calling. And I wonder, could this community be to us like the studio is to Mr. Simmons, the place we go to reconnect to our passion and live it out in serving others? In some ways I like to believe that this is what church and worship is all about; the joyful celebration of life and possibility, perhaps with a little bit of the sweat of our brow thrown in. And I cannot imagine a better way to celebrate God’s ongoing incarnation and creativity moving among us than to live into the creativity and passion in ourselves as we enable others to find and live into their passion as well. So I invite you again; Live your passion here! Come into God’s community. Celebrate the passion of God within you and invite others to joyfully sweat with you.