I'm paraphrasing my mom, who attended church with me one Sunday, and said, "Well there sure was a lot of Jesus in that service." My response was, "Well Mom, it is Easter."
My mom is a very spiritual person, and she likes the kind people in my church, and believes that my spiritual life is a very important part of my overall emotional health. She think it helps me to go to church, which it does, and for a while she would call me on Sunday mornings and say "This is the Lord. Get up and go to church."
But I also know that when I talk or when she reads my writing, and I say something like, well, Jesus, she mentally translates it to spirit or God and feels like she can relate better to my experience in that way. And I want to welcome you to do the same when you're reading my blog.
Given some of the more upsetting representations of Christianity today, I do feel it's important to say that while I found my spiritual home in the Methodist church, and understand and know God within the specificity of Christ's love, I don't feel it's the only way to connect with the spirit, or more right or relevant then Judaism, Buddhism, Islam, trees, birds, Jungian archetypes, or the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan (though I can say from personal experience that’s a dangerous route to take).
I do believe that different faiths can learn from each other, and that we can deepen our own spiritual practices by learning about the ways other people understand God.
But I also feel ambivalent about the way the dominant culture will adopt or trivialize “ethnic” spiritual traditions, like Native American ceremonies or African drum circles (ok, the truth is, for some reason, I find those white-people drum circles on the lawn at Weaver St. Market in Carrboro unreasonably annoying. But I’m not claiming my annoyance is a fully developed theological statement).
For me, it’s about going deep into a particular faith tradition, and not taking a smorgasbord approach. Like the Unitarians, for example. What is up with the Unitarians? Wiccans, Christians, and Buddhists, oh my!
A shout out to my favorite Unitarians, Barbara (who was raised Unitarian – I didn’t even know that could happen), Amy, and Alison.
If my attempt at humor in this post was not successful, I apologize to white drum circle members and Unitarians.