When I used to be a pastor, I often gave people permission. I told them it was okay to start small groups, to have people over for supper, to not go to church occasionally, to give money to God through some other church. I told people that they had permission to rest, to not be involved working around the church for a season.
It wasn’t that they needed official permission. We mostly didn’t have policies about any of those things. But people often were indecisive. They didn’t want to do something wrong, to make God mad.
And often, I reminded them that God talks specifically about loving neighbors, and if this action or event or project is about loving, then there is already permission.
And God talks a few times about being a body with different roles and aptitudes rather than being a punch-press where every piece goes through the same process to end up the same.
And we read about loving God, as Eugene Peterson phrases it, “with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” Which leaves a tremendous amount of flexibility because your passion and prayer and intelligence will lead you to love God in ways which are different than mine.
There are mostly more things to do right than there are to do wrong.
So what if we thought about this as a month of may, as in, “Yes, you may devote yourself to discovering ways to love God and love your neighbor.” Before you ask, you don’t have to be original. If you know that listening to a particular piece of music remind you to love, then feel free to listen to it. A thousand times if you like. If you aren’t a music person, but you are a silence person, feel free to be silent.
I officially declare that you may.