Dear “Virtual” Southminster Members,
The Dalai Lama XIV once said, “When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways—either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits, or by using the challenge to find our inner strength.”
So often I have preached in the past about the need to deepen our inner strength—about our need to become authentic and transparent with each other—about our calling to not be distracted by the social and political and commercial trappings around us. And so often, I wonder whether my words are nice enough but go in one ear and out the other (including me). But once again, in these times of tragic public life, I have listened and learned from my cherished Buddhist and Christian sources calling me back to a rebirth of my very soul. In the words of Irish poet, Brother Richard Hendricks:
All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbours in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.
This month, with those across the globe and across the political divide and across racial boundaries and across nations—we are facing challenges on every side. And yet, on the human level, we all yearn to understand and be understood. We all crave inner strength and to wake up to a new reality. This is the gift of faith. For the Dalai Lama, Buddha and Jesus were kindred spirits. Both proclaimed that once you find your inner strength—and become unattached to self—then you can pay attention to the kingdom that is outside of you and meet challenges with grace and purpose.
Today, many of us are praying for a rebirth of our nation. We are desperately longing for change—hoping beyond hope for sanity to return in our public sphere. I invite you to join us in worship this Sunday— together, with Buddha and Jesus, we will hope for a new tomorrow.
May each of us continue to be refreshed by faith in each other and the rebirths all around us. May each of us find the inner strength we need to face down the challenges that lie in the days ahead.
See you on Sunday,
Virtual Pastor Don