Were You There?

The present does not exist without the past.   This is a factual statement.  However how we  encounter the past, will strongly influence who we are today.  And what we become tomorrow.

This year three of the world’s major religions have some of their holiest days overlap:  Passover, Ramadan, and Easter.

The events, liturgies, and services of all three are honoring past events that shape how their followers live and worship today.  This is more than remembering.  It is continuing a legacy of belief and ideals that are powerful influences still.

An individual example of this commitment is this short interview with Bono about how he practices his Christian faith.

Secular Practices

Organizations also honor their past.   Sporting teams retire star players jerseys or numbers to remind today’s competitors of past glories.

Organizations and universities name buildings, endow scholarships or professorships with the names of founders, donors and leaders who laid the foundations for today’s ongoing work.

Recently a credit union asked if I might speak at their annual meeting.  This is not something I have done recently so asked what he had in mind.

He sent me background on a keynote speaker.  It read:  Michelle Book, CEO of the Food Bank of Iowa, will be one of our keynote speakers this year. She is a friend. . .When Michelle took the helm of this Feeding America affiliate in 2016, it was on the brink of being decertified. Today FBOI serves 55 counties or over half of Iowa . . . Michelle will have an impactful message regarding changes our state legislature will pass into law this week which will result in .  . .another barrier for 300,000 food insecure Iowans to receive their SNAP benefits.  

Every event has embedded in it values, ideals and even prior grievances that motivate or guide its leaders.

Good Friday

Today is part of Easter Holy Week.  Good Friday worship is a time of somber remembering the crucifixion of Jesus.

The spiritual often sung in these services begins:  “Were you there when they crucified my Lord?”

The words are not meant literally.  Rather they evoke the power of worshipping or honoring those who came before to enable us to be who we are.

Religious beliefs are more consequential and longer lasting than most secular traditions, for some but certainly not all people.

However spiritual practice reminds everyone that indeed “you were there” when others created the foundations all stand on now.

And what we will pass on, each in their own way.

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