Maybe you saw this New York Times Op-Ed piece by David Brooks last week entitled The Moral Diet. If you missed it and are interested in reading it, here is a link to the article: http://nyti.ms/KZQ4S5.
In a nutshell here is my take away from Brooks’ column.
Most of us consider ourselves to be good people, but studies show that if our actions are to match the perceptions we have of ourselves we need regular reminders of what being good looks like in real life. Hmmmmm.
While I am a pastor and work in a church, I don’t harbor fantasies about organized religion, in general or the Christian church, in particular. I know that institutionally they are very human organizations, and sometimes can be very fallible and very broken. But, at their best they are a place where many are reminded of and catch a glimpse of what their best selves look like. While the news media is quick to point out those religious gatherings that promote hate and violence, most of the time and most of the people who gather in churches or temples or mosques or synagogues do so to be reminded that we are all better off when we treat others the way we would like to be treated and to be reminded that children should not have to go to bed hungry at night and to be reminded that parents should not have to bury their children who were victims of senseless violence.
That’s the reason I show up.
It’s not about the music or the special words or the rituals or the ????
I can’t tell you how tired I sometimes get of organized religion.
But, I also know that showing up helps me to be a better person.
These people, who show up with me each week, serve as a mirror in which I catch a glimpse of my best self and, one more time, am reminded of the type of person I would like to be.