As I shared in my message on Palm Sunday, this time of year – Christian Holy Week – is the time when I wrestle most with theology. Like many of you, my religious background is Christian, though I grew up unchurched. Whether one grew up in a Christian faith tradition or not, one cannot help but be affected by the surrounding culture with (at least) toys and candy in various forms from eggs to crosses, being sold for Easter festivities in stores.
Given that both our Unitarian and Universalist traditions are rooted in Christianity; it behooves us to consider our sometimes complicated relationship with the Rabbi Jesus and the religion that grew out of the stories of his life.
This year I’ve chosen to engage in a Lenten practice using United Methodist minister Jan Richardson’s book, Circle of Grace: A Book of Blessings for the Seasons. While Richardson is Christian, her writing is expansive – not exclusive. I’m grateful to the colleague who used a reading from this book to open a meeting. It has enriched my daily spiritual practice, which includes reading poetry and taking time for meditation.
As I write this column, the city of Paris – and much of the world – is devastated by the fire that consumed part of the 850 year old Notre Dame Cathedral on the Île de Cité on Monday of Holy Week. I watched the news from Paris live with tears in my eyes, and prayers in my heart.
May this season bring you food for thought, and bread for your journey.
Rev. Lori Hlaban