Sunday, December 23, 2007

Language no barrier to feeling at home

I had the great good fortune to attend a Jewish wedding last night and be reminded again of the beauty of that faith's services. Could anything touch the heart more deeply than the chanted prayers? Although I do not know Hebrew, language was no barrier to understanding. They spoke straight to my soul. I could gladly have listened to the prayers all night, even though the dessert table was beckoning.

One topic of conversation after the service was how everyone was connected to the couple. One woman described how she came to join their congregation. "My kids went to services first," she said, "and they came back and told me that it felt like home. So I went, too, and they were right."

It felt like home. Yes. That is exactly how the Jewish prayers had felt to me. It is the same feeling I have known at my own church's Easter Vigil and Christmas Eve services -- and also in a silent, dark room with only a single candle. Home.

Isn't that what so many of us seek in a church or temple or mosque? Home. A place of warmth and welcome. A place that draws out the best in us, that connects us to God and one another, that points us toward meaning. A place where we can be our true selves, where we belong. A place where we can learn to love.

In this season when Christians celebrate a baby born far from the familiar comforts of home, my wish for all people, of all faiths, is this: No matter where your journey takes you, may you find that home awaits you there.

8 comments:

Nick said...

And speaking of home, I shall be heading there. I might check some on here tomorrow, but it won't be long. I shall return Christmas evening as I have to work the next day.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

pornstudent said...

"Could anything touch the heart more deeply than the chanted prayers?"

Yes. Reality.

"Although I do not know Hebrew, language was no barrier to understanding."

Of course it was. This is an example of where the logic of the spiritual will lead you. You projected your feelings onto the chanting even though they could have been chanting about something you strongly disagreed with.

Nick said...

If you wish to try to challenge the faith, by all means go ahead. I'll be glad to respond when I get back from seeing my family for Christmas. Don't think I'll take the route of experience either. Experience is quite secondary to me.

By the way, I have no idea what you mean by the logic of the spiritual. There is simply logic and I'm eager to see if you know the three basic laws without the use of a websearch.

Anonymous said...

"If you wish to try to challenge the faith, by all means go ahead."

You can't challenge faith. By definition of it. It is belief w/o evidence so no evidence will convince faithful otherwise. They just see it as being tempted. You can see what was going on with Mother Theresa. She lost faith yet it was portrait as something "normal" for faithful, it was portrait as torment of void is supposedly something to get her closer to feel the pain of Jesus. Only thing she had left was belief in belief itself, she lost everything else for decades. It just shows how bad this whole faith system is; portraying lack of faith as something good for faithful. (oxymoron anyone?)

Sincerely,
Iztok

Nick said...

Actually, faith is the certainty of things hoped for. It is based on that which has been shown to be reliable. The ancient mindset did not argue from personal feelings for Christianity. They all made the same claim. The tomb is empty. They kept pointing to that fact wanting people to see for themselves. The Bereans were more noble because they checked to make sure what was said was true and Paul told us to be sure to examine everything and hold to what is true. (1 Thess. 5:21)

However, I would also ask this question. Do all beliefs have to be backed by evidence in order from them to have epistemological warrant?

I'd also add that I'm looking for real evidence of the pagan copycat thesis. Frankly, I haven't seen it and I don't have enough of the false kind of faith to buy it.

Gamecock said...

Jane, your prose always reveals just how close you are to God. It always lifts me up.

pornstudent said...

I had to look "epistemological" up in the dictionary. Webster - "the study or a theory of the nature and grounds of knowledge especially with reference to its limits and validity."

So, in less educated terms, Nick asks, "Do all beliefs have to be backed by evidence in order for them to have validity?"

If you want to live in a real world rather than a make believe one, yes.

Nick said...

So, in less educated terms, Nick asks, "Do all beliefs have to be backed by evidence in order for them to have validity?"

Me: Can you back this belief with evidence?