One of the great joys of religious curiosity emerges when we compare our traditions with other beliefs and practices. In part, the delight comes from flagging ways we may have misunderstood or been misled. I remember being a teenager before learning Roman Catholics place statuary in their churches to keep memory of saints alive. Unlike what I’d been told, they don’t worship idols. They remember their ancestors when praying, believing those who’ve gone before are close to God. What a wonderful tradition!
Setting aside common misjudgments and our own vague notions, we can discover the underlying sacredness of others’ beliefs and practices. Often, we’re intrigued by how closely they reflect our own sensibilities. None of these relationships is closer Christianity and Buddhism. Though they are different on many levels, their approaches to life and spirituality bear some striking resemblances. This month, we’ll be looking at the two traditions side-by-side and discerning how they reflect and relate to one another.
Working from the great Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn’s classic Living Buddha, Living Christ, I trust we’ll find new impetus for vital spiritual practices like silence, mindfulness, and the meaning of true discipleship. These and other principles are fundamental to Christianity and Buddhism, and they speak to one another (and us) in remarkable ways.
We’re very excited about spending April exploring these two great religions. You’ll be surprised, I believe, at what you’ll discover. And if you’ve not had a chance to appreciate the value of comparative religious study, this will be a great start!
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 835 6708 5701
Or dial in at 312-626-6799, using same Meeting ID
See you each Thursday in April at 7:30pm CDT.
Blessings, with metta (loving-kindness),
We need your help!
As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!
Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea
As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.