I wanted to share a post by my dear friend Chris, a Vaishnav monk and seminary student at Union Theological Seminary, on negotiating his Christian roots and Hindu identity & faith while finding nourishment in Christian practice. I feel very, very similarly and I’d love to write a response, but now’s not the time, as I should be studying for midterms instead of reading wonderful posts like his. I’ll share his words here and hope to write my own such reflection before long.
Heads up – my goal for the sacred month of Karttik is to write a daily reflection. Mentally preparing myself for this one – it will be a huge challenge in my hectic school environment.
“During one of my first experiences taking communion together in Chapel, I was moved practically to tears by the combination of the intimate and vulnerable ceremony of taking the sacrament, of the stirring music that surrounded us, and of seeing very clearly a moment of unity in the intense diversity that we have here at Union. The emotions emanating from my heart were the kind of rare but exquisitely special feelings we get as gifts of grace from the Divine in our life, in which we intuitively know we are with something much deeper than ourselves. For me, it was a sign that I had come to the right place in my life, part of the larger gift God has given me in being here, at this time, in my own way, at Union.
I come to these experiences no longer identifying as a Christian, and while being in a Christian service does not make me uncomfortable, there are aspects of the worship that I don’t literally believe anymore. My relationship with Jesus as a person, and as an ideal, is framed through my Hindu lens, where we see him as a great teacher whose example is to be emulated. We don’t see him in any particular or exclusive theological position. Read more…