Ideas About God…
“I asked God for religious certainty, and God gave me relationships instead. I asked for solid ground, and God gave me human beings instead—strange, funny, compelling, complicated human beings—who keep puncturing my stereotypes, challenging my ideas, and upsetting my ideas about God, so that they are always under construction. I may yet find the answer to all my questions in a church, a book, a theology, or a practice of prayer, but I hope not. I hope God is going to keep coming to me in authentically human beings who shake my foundations, freeing me to go deeper into the mystery of why we are all here.”
― Barbara Brown Taylor, Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others
April 2022 brings sacred traditions of Muslims, Jews, and Christians “together.” From the 30 days of Ramadan to the 7 days of Passover and Holy Week, there is a focus on our relationship with God.
Even those with no ties to one of these religions or any faith tradition cannot help but be affected by the attention of so many people turned toward their sacred celebrations.
As we seek peace in war-torn areas of the world, perhaps we can contribute to our understanding of the sacredness of all life by learning one new thing about the faiths we’re least familiar with.
Barbara Brown Taylor’s book, Holy Envy, is so titled from the wisdom offered by theologian Krister Stendahl in his Three Rules of Religious Understanding:
- When trying to understand another religion, you should ask the adherents of that religion and not its enemies.
- Don’t compare your best to their worst.
- Leave room for “holy envy.”
Or, if considering another faith tradition and their ideas of God is too much for you right now, contemplate the sacred found in all people, place, and things that come into your life this week. Imagine how your ideas about the Holy One might expand and hold space for more love and peace.
May your relationship with the Divine be strengthened as you envision so many focused on the same intention―in their own way. And may this move us all closer to peace.
The Sacredness of Life
― John Philip Newell, Sacred Earth, Sacred Soul