As Muslim Ramadan, Jewish Passover and Christian Holy Week and Easter converge in the calendar this week, billions of people around the world are centering their lives in spiritual observances that connect them to thousands of years of history, to their families and faith communities, and to a sense of oneself in a larger, deeply meaningful context, attuned to the sacred in our midst with refreshed ears and eyes.
Each of these traditions encourages us to reach beyond our day to day experience to discover a deeper meaning to our lives, to reconnect to the transcendent within us that is an ever-present ground spring of strength, direction, love, peace and larger purpose. We are living in a world so troubled by and suffering from violence and inhumanity, especially in these past months. This turn of attention, on the part of families and communities all over the world, to a deeper sense of ourselves, of the goodness that can define and redirect our lives, offers hope to many.
It must be acknowledged and deeply repented that much harm has been done in the name of religion in so many eras of human history. But I know too that we should not let that history co-opt the realm of the spirit which is the inheritance of all human beings. In the practices and observances of Ramadan, Passover and Easter, themes of liberation, redemption, awe and remembrance of a larger human narrative are lifted up to be nourishment and inspiration for a gentler, more peaceful and compassionate world. May it be so!
To all families celebrating and observing this week and this month, I wish for joy and meaningful connection in these days of worship, traditions and ritual. May we all be renewed in hope and determination for our shared, collective work of building loving, just community.