A friend stopped by for the weekend. We have known each other for almost a decade. Out working relationship has grown to include our personal stories and journeys. As we headed out for a bit of Sunday shopping, he asked me about the Hindu temples along the way. In his past visits, I have often taken him to a temple for worship. He hoped that I could help him find a convenient place.
There was an older temple on the way. Even with our different views of God, we have found gems to share with each other. I have discovered new perspectives on devotion. I have found that rituals are more helpful than I initially thought. I have also come to appreciate the way God is able to talk through others, even when s/he has a view of Divinity I do not recognize.
As I sat waiting for him in the shade outside the temple, the gems of my view of God drifted through my mind. Some were in my own words. Others were stories left by wisdom fathers. The sequence always includes the details Paul put into his writings; “The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; and that he finally presented himself alive to me.” (1 Corinthians 15.3-7)
As good as these reminders are, they mean little until they are put action. Yesterday’s words and viewpoints have meaning today. Actions will tell others and myself what my views mean. In each moment there is an opportunity to make them real.