For many the goal of religion is simply peace. Indeed, “spirituality” often conjures images and feelings of peace, calm, stillness, equanimity. The spiritual goal of peace is not to overcome the challenges of life but to distance oneself from them, not to “win” with one side of the struggle against the other, but to unite the sides and forget the struggle.
Unitarian Universalists have had a difficult relationship with power, lately. But we don’t need to feel ambivalent about having power, only be more cognizant and careful about how we use it. Power is merely the ability to effect change in the world. Without it, no goal for a different future would ever be reached.
Some religious experiences are grandiose: miracles, theophanies, resurrection. But the unlikelihood of that model of instant total transformation can make spiritual growth seem impossible. In truth, the more reliable route to achieving our faith goals is through slow, steady work, and patience for incremental change.
Reclaiming sacred words can provide a powerful reflection point for Unitarian Universalists. Join us for an exploration of the word ‘grace’ for this Sunday service.
Perhaps most of all, life should be fun. But joy doesn’t just mean happy. Or not even “very happy.” Joy means that sense of being completely engaged with the source of happiness.
There are dangers in life that are beyond our control. Spiritual health consists in overcoming the unfounded fears we face within. Trust that we are good enough, smart enough, and strong enough to make our own way through the challenges of life.
One of the qualities I love about Unitarian Universalism is that we strive to be a reality-based religion. We use the best tools of science and reason to start from an accurate description of reality. From that ground we build our faith to places that science alone cannot reach: from knowledge to wisdom.
For the rest of this church year we look at the goals of faith. What’s it for? There are both individual spiritual goals (what my faith does for me), which is where we will start, and there are broader religious goals (what my faith tradition hopes for all people), which we will get to in spring.
Storytelling is one of the most ancient methods of conveying important information from one generation to the next. From fables and folktales to grand sagas and epics, we use stories to remind ourselves of simple and enduring truths. As we prepare to step into a new year, let us be reminded of some of these lessons and learn to recognize the significance of the multi-faceted narrative.
The Christmas story is motivated by dreams. Angels appear in dreams to bring messages, instructions, and warning. And Christmas itself is a kind of dream. “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas”, visions of sugar-plums, a dream of peace on earth. A candle-lit, vespers service to send you off to dream your dreams, or a dreamless sleep.