The Sacred

 

Recently, I was baptized (sprinkling on the head with water) in the United Church of Christ.  I have been a member of North Congregational United Church of Christ since 2013.  It may have been my imagination, but I felt a sweet spirit surrounding me after it happened.  Churches are sacred spaces.  Any place that is holy is sacred regardless of religious affiliation.  In my opinion, nature is also sacred and has a free will of its own.

We should respect the places that are sacred and respect the ministers who have the duty of initiating the rites of the sacred.  I am not Roman Catholic, obviously; I just stated I belong to the United Church of Christ (www.ucc.org).  However, when I see a Roman Catholic or Episcopalian church, one appreciates its sacred nature.  Statues and icons of divine figures from Christianity are throughout these churches, such as the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jesus, and the Archangel Michael.  Sometimes, saint figures are displayed too, especially on their feast days (when he or she is celebrated).

Christian churches do not hold an exclusive right to being sacred.  Jewish temples and synagogues, mosques from Islam, Hindu temples (which in style are somewhat similar to Roman Catholic), Buddhist temples, Sikh temples, Jain temples, and any faith or denomination’s holy place I neglected to mention are sacred too.  Nature is sacred to Neo-Pagans and Wiccans – those that worship nature itself represented by a God and Goddess (some include entire pantheons of deities not unlike Hinduism).

I am writing this to connect to you to honor the sacred places of your own and of others.  This forum, Spirit Walk, in its latest incarnation, is my personal and public space to talk to you how I honor the sacred.  As I stated earlier, I am a progressive Christian (belonging to the U.C.C.), but I honor all the sacred places.  I remember the first time I went to a mosque in seminary in Columbus, Ohio.  It is also a holy place even if it is not my religion.  I do not hold exclusive rights to say what is holy and sacred and neither do you.  Think about it and I hope you enjoy reading about my spiritual journey as expressed in contact with me and on this blog, Spirit Walk.

Namaste.

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Lost…and Found

 

Today, I re-watched the series finale of the great series Lost titled “The End.”  I have to admit I cried watching it.  It was so emotional and touching.  Anyway, for a theological nerd like me, the series is full of theological metaphors.  The final scene has Jack and the others involved in the jet crash reunite in a church.  The windows have icons from all religions and ironically, Jack’s father, is named Christian Shepherd.

These characters have been in metaphorical  Heaven and Hell together.  Some have bad pasts they must atone for and do.  Others explore science and faith on the island.  It is Jack who, the true skeptic, finally accepts the truth at the end: they all died in the plane trash.  The island was a place they somehow metaphysically created to work out their life issues together so that they could eventually move in to the next phase of existence: heaven or reincarnation.  The show doesn’t give us that answer as no one really knows what happen or where we go when we die for a fact.  Yes, we all have theories and speculations, and some have had near death experiences, such as myself.

However, I do believe the Roman Catholics are right about Purgatory: a state of limbo where we repent for our sins until we are able to go to Heaven.  This is essentially what happens on the series Lost.  Some find redemption sooner than later and leave the island, but when they arrive at the church: no time has passed there.  As Jack discovers when he enters the church sanctuary, he sees all of his friends there, and they all talk and hug.  Then, Jack’s father opens the door, and they see a great light, and move on…  They are no longer lost, but found.