Can you guess who this is? Ralph Cutter, Joe Bezio, me, and our host, Simran. On February 4th, a group of eight of us visited the Sikh temple in Westborough. The worship service had many similarities to ours, including serving a symbolic food at the end, akin to our communion. Of course, there were many differences, the most obvious that they sit on the ground for their service. They also don’t have an ordained pastor, but the lay people lead the service. The Sikh religion is neither Hindu nor Islam, but it is a different way of worshipping God. They believe that we all worship the same God, and so Simran attended mass when she was going to the local Catholic school.
They have a kitchen open 7 days a week and 24 hours a day and they serve food to anyone who comes in. As you can see, we are eating our meal with them. One important aspect of their faith practice is finding ways to live together in peace and harmony.
As we live into the holiest time of our church year, it is inspiring to remember what we have in common with others who practice a different religion. We will be attending Maundy Thursday at the Athol-Orange Baptist Church as a sign of our oneness in Christ with our sisters and brothers locally.
Jesus’ greatest criticisms weren’t for those of other faith, but for the ones of his own faith who excluded others. Jesus practiced that inclusive, sacrificial love even unto death. We know that the path of Christlove ultimately leads us to abundant life. How will you find ways to celebrate your oneness with those who are different than you are? I invite you to think and pray on this as we walk this journey together.