Happy Monday, my friends! Following on my theme of drawing inspiration from Christopher Sunami’s Hero for Christ (and the overarching theme of the Easter season) I’m turning to his second point: Find your own path. For most of us—excluding the clergy and ministers among us—Holy Week and Easter is the only scheduled time when we are involved in church services multiple days in a row. In fact, Holy Week offers us a variety of ways of engaging spiritually from the contemplative to the liturgical to the musical to the traditional. I spent part of Good Friday participating in the ecumenical Good Trouble Friday, a social justice version of the Stations of the Cross prayed while walking around the Ohio Statehouse.
Unfortunately, the church isn’t always great at providing us the opportunity to find our own paths. But the church isn’t guilty in a vacuum; society rarely helps people find their own paths. For every one of us raised in conservative communities and taught to think like our parents there is someone else who was raised in a liberal community and was taught to think like their parents. Frustrated by his parents’ insistence that free love was going to save the world, one of my college professors took a lawn mower to the commune’s marijuana crop and promptly enlisted in the army.
As we each matured, we began to take our own paths until we each realized that our paths, our values, and our commitments had become just as strong as our parents’ and our communities’. At 35 now, I can remember when, about 10 years ago, I realized that while some of my opinions would inevitably change, my core beliefs were far less shakable than I had ever planned for them to be. That the Gospel is political and that the message of Jesus Christ is love put into action with the marginalized form part of my core beliefs as do the call to teach and lift people and communities up through education.
What are some of your unshakeable beliefs? When did you know your beliefs had solidified?
Let us pray: God, who has always been unshakeable and will always be unshakeable, your word never changes, but our understanding of your word develops and evolves as we learn and grow as a species. Help us, regardless of where we are in life, to recognize those values which we hold most dear. Allow us to speak up and act out about those values. We ask this through your Son, Amen.
Blessings on your week, my friends! Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.