By bringing together a group of people gathered not because of their age, race, occupation, or wealth but because of their commitment to shared values and experience, the liturgy breaks down the divisions between us.
Could religion as we know it be ending? Could the future be less structured, more inclusive groups, giving to and embracing a God of love in ourselves, others, and nature?
Sunday's event in Paris in response to this reality was incredible and unprecedented: millions of people coming together in the name of unity. Perhaps its most important aspect was to show us that our world leaders can indeed walk hand-in-hand together in common cause.
In a recent article for the website of the Union for Reform Judaism, I generated some controversy by quoting two books by Christian authors. A few comments and even personal phone calls wondered why a rabbi would quote Christian sources when they are so many good Jewish ones.
Given the widespread departure from the Church in all its varied expressions, it is a legitimate question. Add to this the reality that the Millennial generation has not only left the Church but does not seem to be returning and you have a recipe for disaster.
Do you know your guide(s)? If not, here is one process through which to engage, connect and communicate with this nurturing and protective spiritual presence.
I believe there is something about experiencing the ancient liturgy that can take us to another part of our being, deep into our spiritual selves -- whether one can recite the Nicene Creed in good conscience or not.
God is Love. He has no tribe, no army. Rather, he has the world in its entirety in his hands. A humanity as a whole that he loves. Jesus came to break the belief in tribes.
Two new books reviewed by Kaya Oakes , one by Linda Mercadante, the other by the Smith-Longest-Hill-Christofferson team, teach the smart-cracker to get not smart but wise, as these authors deal with SCNRs -- Mercadante's acronymic coinage for the "Spiritual But Not Religious."
Believe it or not, many of the spiritual but not religious are not pursuing the easy life at all. In fact, many are rejecting the easy answers in church as they search their minds, hearts and serve the poorest of the poor in America and far away countries looking for substance, honesty and purpose.
When we think of spirituality, we think of godly elements: love, forgiveness and a humble lifestyle. We don't normally think of ego. In fact, one of...
When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world. -- Eckhart ...
If you consider yourself to be on a spiritual path, you must be having conversations with your soul already. During your conversations, pause often and listen carefully. At times, pause to ask questions too.
Just because people had drifted apart from their religion didn't mean they had no spiritual questions or spiritual needs. With 30+ million customers and growing, it was a publishing free-for-all.
Are we seeing a "turn to the East" among those people unaffiliated with any particular organized religion, especially those who self-identify as "spiritual but not religious?" I don't think so. Of course, the influence of America's increasing religious diversity is evident.
I think of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau as America's founding SBNRs. But, while SBNRs have always been with us, their numbers exploded when the baby boomers came of age in a world of great diversity and easy access to new sources of information, especially the spiritual traditions of the East.