It is the duty of every cultured man or woman to read sympathetically the scriptures of the world. If we are to respect others' religions as we would have them respect our own, a friendly study of the world's religions is a sacred duty. - Mahatma Gandhi
Easter is a time when we celebrate the Resurrected Lord as the way, the truth, and the life. Some Christians interpret this as Jesus providing the only path to God. It is possible to consider Jesus as the way we fully know and experience God. God’s greatness is beyond my understanding, so I resist limiting how God may interact with others in the world around me. Holy Week and the season of Easter accentuate the mystery of God’s vastness. While we gather at church for worship, others gather in mosques and synagogues, praying to the God of Abraham. Living well in a community means learning about our neighbors' faith heritages. Over the years, our Ascension community has embraced this concept, as evidenced by the many opportunities we’ve provided to learn from each other. The gift of interfaith dialogue is a critical vehicle for overcoming misconceptions, prejudices, and misunderstandings. I’m excited to share that tonight, we will co-host our annual Ramadan dinner with the Dialogue Institute of Dallas. This nonprofit's mission is to promote mutual understanding, respect, and cooperation among people of diverse faiths and cultures by creating opportunities for direct communication and meaningful shared experiences. During Ramadan, the Institute partners with churches around Dallas and provides home-cooked dinners and short presentations on the history and tradition of the season. For Muslims, this season includes fasting throughout the day and gathering for a shared meal at sunset to pray and break the fast. I hope you can join us for this special evening of fellowship and learning. Learn more about our evening HERE. Another opportunity for interfaith study is our new Sunday morning Adult Formation offering, which begins this Sunday, April 16. We'll use Adam Hamilton's book Christianity and World Religions as our guide. I invite you to join us for exploration and meaningful discussion that will enhance our understanding of God and other faiths. I pray our understanding of otherness expands in the next few weeks and look forward to future conversations about being greater than the sum of our different and diverse parts.