Sunday, December 17, 2017

A few words about the meaning of religion

This morning Stew and I attended a service of the Unitarian Fellowship in San Miguel. We don't attend Unitarian services regularly but were attracted by a program of beautiful Christmas music performed by four very talented local artists. 
Sandwiched in between the music we read the following reflection about the meaning of religion that seemed particularly relevant in this year of civic acrimony and discord even over the greeting "Merry Christmas!". 
The author of this reflection is Vincent B. Silliman (1894-1979), a Unitarian minister, poet and hymn writer. 

Let religion be to us life and joy.
Let it be a voice of renewing challenge to the best we have and may be; let it be a call to generous action. 
Let religion be to us a dissatisfaction with things that are,
which bids us serve more eagerly the true and the right. 
 
Let it be the sorrow that opens for us the way of sympathy, 
understanding, and service to suffering humanity.

Let religion be to us the wonder and lure of that which is only partly known and understood.

An eye that glories in nature's majesty and beauty, and a heart that rejoices in deeds
of kindness and of courage.

Let religion be to us security and serenity because of its truth and beauty, and because of the enduring worth and power of the loyalties which is engenders;

Let it be to us hope and purpose, and a discovering of opportunities to express our best through daily tasks:

Religion, uniting us with all that is
admirable in human beings everywhere;
Holding before our eyes a prospect of the better life for humankind,
which each may help to make actual.
Vincent B. Silliman

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