Sometimes it is difficult to be an Episcopalian. It is especially difficult when we find ourselves in disagreement with one another, because we actually prefer unity to disunity. Nonetheless, even in the midst of turmoil we frequently come across a kind of “punctuation mark” in life that helps us remember who and whose we are called to be in our common life.
“Mom, you are not going to believe what happened in school today.”
This was a radio spot I heard in the car. A little girl was talking to her mother. She was very excited as she recounted the event.
“A Hopi Indian visited our class today. He showed us how he dances to pray and how he burned leaves to purify his soul. He showed us lots of other rituals. I wish I was a Hopi Indian.”
Her mother responded very gently, “Honey, we're Jewish – and we have rituals. When I was a little girl, my mother used to light candles every Friday night and we would sing special songs. Then on Saturday night, we would have a special meal to say goodbye to the Sabbath.”
“Mom, why don't we do those things?”
“Well, you know, we are pretty busy and you have lots of lessons and things. We just have a pretty hectic schedule to keep up.”
“Mom, can we go to Grandma's house on Friday so she can show me the rituals you used to do when you were a little girl?”
“This message was brought to you by the Jewish Federation. Come back, learn the rituals and participate in our programs.”
I am not sure I was able to capture all of it because I was in the car, but this is the essence of the message on the radio which surprised me recently. It made me think. It made me a little sad. It made me think again.
How difficult is it to be an Episcopalian? What are our rituals? How do they identify us?
This is your punctuation mark for today.