A SEARCH FOR ULTIMATE MEANING — I present here my own edited version of an essay by Rev. Fran Pratt, Pastor of Worship and Liturgy at Peace of Christ Church in Round Rock, Texas in “Progessing Spirit”.:
In recent millennia our main western religious history started in east mediterranean Asia as a clan, a tribe, a community, sought a way to relate to the divine … in all the ways that complex and fallible humans do … getting some ideas right and misunderstanding others.
It created traditions, assumptions and rituals surrounding its understanding of higher power, some of which were timeless and others hopelessly limited. The clan grows into a tribe, then into a nation, gradually spreading its understandings across places and cultures … all the while struggling to connect with and understand the divine, and never quite realising that the divine is within them all along.
Then a Person [ Rabbi Yeshuah of Nazareth (c.5 BCE-c. 30 CE) ] emerged from the Asian community who was able to sum up the story and speak divine truth with humanity’s own voice. In this Person the divine became immanent, wholly at hand; the best was humanised, fully embodied.
This Person is so compelling that his brief physical presence on the earth changed the course of history in innumerable ways. He embodied divine love and light, and believed that ordinary folks can do the same. He’s the catalyst for a whole new branch of the world’s Wisdom Tradition and inspired many other saints and sages in history to inspire much of today’s compassionate work.
There’s a grand search for moral truth threading through the whole story, humans asking how best to be in the world and how best for humans to live wisely? We believe we can see the divine pointing the way and remaining compassionately present when its guidance is rejected or scorned. …
A TRIBUTE — Jewish philosopher Hannah Arendt )1906-1975) called Rabbi Yeshuah of Nazareth “the only completely valid and completely convincing experience (that the western world had ever had) of goodness as the inspiring principle of all human action”.
Kevin G Smith January 2019