Because the relevance of faith is under siege in our culture, I’m attending a lecture series titled What’s Happening in 21st Century Religion? The audience is diverse. That’s good. I want to know what people are thinking about the role of religion and faith in their lives.
Dynamic Woman — Changing Times
For years I’ve ignored art exhibits that feature Eastern religions. At a glance, I wasn’t drawn to images that held no relevance for me. But when we were invited a to Member’s Exhibition Preview to view Wondrous Worlds: Art & Islam Through Time & Place at the Phoenix Art Museum, we accepted.
Christmas gives us special moments of unity. Our celebration may feel like a too-short intermission in our daily lives, Or we may experience an extended time of worship and visits with family and friends. Either way, the time comes to box up the tinsel and lights and express our last wish for peace, love, and joy. We wonder, why can’t we keep the Christmas Spirit of “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men” all year round?
From where I sit in a choir pew rehearsing the Fauré Requiem, I get a full appreciation of the season. In addition to the fun costume and candy parade, this season comprises many celebrations. Historically, Allhallowtide is a three-day period devoted to the remembrance of the departed faithful. (It corresponds to the Mexican Day of the Dead, a time to remember deceased family and friends.)
I try to think of myself as a gypsy who travels light, carries only the essentials, and maintains the same disciplined routine wherever. But sometimes you have to live in the disruptive moments that life hands you.
The year is running out, and I’m preparing for the New Year. That space between Christmas and New Year’s Day invites us to reflect on the past year’s events and spring for a chance to embrace the coming year with hope.
© Sydney Avey