Weekly Message from T. J.

Last Resort

This month’s spiritual theme is Spirit / Mana. To deepen our understanding and our conversations around these themes it helps to experience different perspectives. Each month I’ll be putting together a set of writings to help with this. These are taken from essays, poetry, interviews, and other sources. Inspirational, sad, insightful, funny, these reflections help us see some of the many faces of these themes. I’m sure we have some in our own lives as well.

One of the first books about Unitarian Universalism I ever read was The Cathedral of the World by Forrest Church, the senior minister of All Souls, in New York, my one-time home congregation. In that book he builds an understanding of Unitarian Universalism, and indeed faith itself, around the metaphor of light cast through a church window made of stained glass. His theory is that the sun passing through the stained glass will cast shades of color throughout the church. No matter where you are in the church, if you look at the sun, it will seem a different color. It’s a powerful metaphor. And one that helped me to get my head around this movement.

But then things happen in life, right. We all have days and nights alone in our little cathedrals. Maybe a waning moon passes dim reminders of the vibrant colors of the morning along the cold stone floor. Or maybe the yellow buzzing light of a streetlamp casts a mere shadow of the radiance of the sun through the windows. Not all of the days in the cathedral of the soul are as radiant as those gleaming mornings of kaleidoscopic wonder. In fact, most aren’t. And that’s OK.

That is why we have church, though, isn’t it? Some of the questions we carry with us every day need a place where we can take them. We need a place where we can unpack them and relax a while. Maybe in some strange way The Resort of the World is more appropriate on this island. We can arrive. The sun is out. We have choices. We can hang by a calming pool. We can explore life beneath the surface of the water. We can climb, run, fly, or move however we want across this paradise. Or we can just get silly at the bar and watch the people go by.

I confess, it’s not a fully developed metaphor. And it’s far from a personal theology. But it sounds like fun. And I hope we can all enjoy these different takes and pieces of the ways many of us are coming together this month. They’re not all fun. They’re not all perfect. But they are all true.

You can download the reflections by clicking here: Reflections on Spirit Feb 2019

Many blessings to all,

Rev. T. J.
minister@unitariansofhi.org

3 Responses to “Weekly Message from T. J.

  1. Cathedral has such a western historical connotation. Resort sounds capitalistic. Metaphors are so tricky since so open to interpretation. Observing the ephemeral nature of a child’s moods within 24 hours are similar to a year of my moods or experiences.

    1. Excellent point, Nancy. Maybe “Sanctuary of the Soul.” Let’s write a book together!

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