Sermon from July 9th, at the League of Lordaeron encampment. "On Faith and Friendship"
"Good evening friends. It is a pleasure to be with you all on this day, here at the edge of civilization. It's quite a pleasure to see faces from both First Light and League of Lordaeron, and it's an even greater pleasure to see both groups getting along so well."
"For my sermon this evening, I intend to discuss that very relationship, and the value it holds in the future. At the very core of the Light's teachings, perhaps even more central than the Three Virtues themselves, lies the connection between one another. This is the connection I plan to explore tonight. The connection between our faith in the Light and our shared friendship as two Orders and two groups of people in alignment with the Light's teachings."
"First of all, let me thank Demitria Rione for her hospitality in such trying times. From what I understand, this campaign has been wrought with challenges, but all of them have been overcome with grace and dignity. While this encampment is not Tyr's Hand, it's a lovely camp ready for anything the wicked may try against it. Thank you for allowing us to join you on such a vital mission, Demitria."
"As to the topic of tonight's sermon, it's about friendship. All of us, human, elf, and orc alike, all find a need for friendship in this world. No matter what your roots or your values, you will inevitably find yourself yearning to mingle and interact with others in a personal manner. Indeed, even before the faith came into existence, the people of the world yearned for comfort from one another."
"But, as some of you might ask, how does this pertain to the Light? What is the value of friendship in the scope of the Light's majestic grace and virtue? At its core, the faith is a way to connect us all through one shared set of values and beliefs. That is why it exists, to protect us against the evils of the world. While we were able to partake in friendship well before the faith ever existed, the pursuit of religion has allowed such a different group of people to come together peacefully, to unite against evil rather than squabble over lands and titles like in the past."
"That is not to say that the Light is solely about friendship, of course. The Light is many things to many people, but it thrives when it can be spread to every corner of every world. The more that we interact as a faithful people, the more the Light grows in opposition to the darkness that threatens our world. This week, that evil is cultists, I believe. Tomorrow, it may be demons. And one day soon, it may be the Legion returning to our doorsteps to sow chaos and destruction once more."
"I saw this threat myself, just a few nights ago. A priest of First Light was thrown to the wolves by the demons of the Legion, afflicted with a cursed wound given by the blade of a warlock. Like many things corrupted by the Legion, his wound could not be healed through traditional methods. The only true source of purity, the only way to protect ourselves is to rely upon our friends for aid. That is why that priest came to me, and that is why, in the middle of the Tyr's Hand Abbey, we were able to save him. The power of the Light was strengthened by the bonds of community."
"This is the threat ahead of all of us. The Legion grows in strength when we are separate, when we are fearful, when we are distrusting of one another. But the Light grows when we are together, when we are courageous, when we believe in one another. That is one reason why friendship is so important to the Light."
"There is, however, another reason why we should strengthen our ties to one another. Friendship builds upon the virtues of the Light. At it's core, there are three virtues that are vital to faith in the Light. Respect, Tenacity, and Compassion. When one builds a true friendship, these three things are all what we draw upon for inspiration. These three things are also what allow a friendship to grow, develop, and change without breaking in the face of adversity."
"The most obvious, of course, is respect. How can one call another person their friend if they do not respect that person? Respect is the key to the Light, and it is key to the faith as well. While I have touched on the topic of Respect many times, it's important to remember what it is, in the simplest of terms. It is admiration of something or someone's skills, qualities, and achievements. In regards to the Light, when we respect the Light, we recognize its awe-inspiring power and strength. In respecting one another, we focus on why another person deserves our time and our energy, as opposed to wallowing away in regret, hatred, or disgust."
"The second of these virtues, tenacity, may not be as self-evident in regards to friendship. However, through a closer inspection, it becomes much more obvious. Let me share a recent example. A paladin of First Light came to me, very recently, to share her concerns and her troubles with me. I advised that she take a trip to her homeland to better understand what haunted her. It was my faith in her strength and her own tenacity that allowed her to overcome this trial." Saleris walked towards Te'Igin and placed a hand up over her head, although she didn't touch it. "This child here suffered so much, because she mistook her own vengeance as tenacity. It took a trial like the paladins of the Silver Hand, for her to finally understand why the Light wanted her to change. Te'Igin, do you feel the Light in you now?" Saleris placed her head down onto Te'Igin's forehead to compel an answer.
Saleris backed away and smiled. "Light bless, child. Light bless. And Light bless you all for being her to see this miracle of the Light's grace." Saleris looked over the crowd and continued. "And the last virtue, of course, is Compassion. Compassion is a difficult virtue to fully comprehend and it can be the final point at which a friendship, and a faith, crumble into nothingness. We must understand one another's motivations and needs when we seek to mend a tattered friendship. And when we find our own faith flagging, we must recognize the greater order of the universe. Even if the Light does not seem to answer our prayers, it is always watching over us, protecting us from evils that we cannot see or even understand."
"To conclude, faith in the Light has given us many bounties, among which is this friendship we have gathered today to celebrate in prayer and joy. Our individual friendships have blessed two people here today and will bless many more in the future. Our collective friendships will be the glue that ensures that our people are able to endure whatever trials lie ahead of us. And our faith in the Light shall watch over us and protect us from the darkness yet to come."
"Thank you for joining me tonight. Anar'alah."