This page is to share health concerns, events about you or your family that you would like to share with the class, or to have others know about.
With the corona virus affecting our lives so dramatically and pushing all of us to reconsider what life means to us in new ways, it occurred to me to reconsider the role of ritual in my life.
We have always had schedules, dead lines to follow, and calendars full of dates and responsibilities. These responsibilities and duties have formed “rituals” that we adopted. Retirement changed our “rituals”, so have health concerns and life threatening diseases, and now we all face a huge intervention into our life styles that is playing havoc with our life styles. These changes are changing our once “taken for granted” life styles into something that has yet to crystallize. We live in uncertain times.
Let’s just deal with one ritual, of the many we have, today. These many rituals that when connected together form a pattern for our life that makes it “normal.” We find an inner sense of security when we pay homage and honor these rituals. There are family rituals (everyone has their job), waking up rituals (that cup of coffee and toast), work rituals (checking emails, financials, requisitions, assignments, ToDo lists), and various rituals we follow every day, every week. We do “this” on Saturday, “that” on Sunday, and each day of the week has it’s repetitions and differences. You get the picture.
Ritual is a very important part of us. We are creatures of habit – a some of breaching rituals is a ritual for some people. “I won’t be put in a box,” they might say. I’ve become fascinated with how politics has created rituals and collected us into practicing a kind of allegiance to particular rituals that identify “us” to particular parties, or to “no” parties. And, of course, along comes some identification “icons” that identify and make us one of the herd.
The corona virus, however, has changed all of us; knocked us back a couple of pegs. Our “regular rituals” (habits) are detoured if not halted; and the uncertainty of our future is foggy in the present. A confusion has entered our security, and now even security isn’t what it “used to be.”
There’s a lot to think about when we exam our rituals in life. Our exploration is how rituals have changed, and evolved over our life time. Rituals that one time we did as kids, growing up; then rituals we practiced in pursuit of higher education; rituals we’ve shared with various friends, mates, cohorts, and on and on. Yet one ritual stands out from all the rest. These rituals were taught and practiced with us through our parents, and enhanced by grandparents and family. These rituals were religious and spiritual rituals. They became primary rituals, in deed, sacred rituals for us. He we learned all about them first had, For many of us these were ingrained in us at an early age. They were not just important, they took priority. Sabbath, for instance, we one of the first that stood out for me. Wow! Think about it. Stores were closed, work ceased, and for a day one lounged around with family, or perhaps visited extended families, or came together in picnics and reunions. That’s a ritual that has certainly changed for a lot of us over the years.
All rituals are important, but the one with the most permanence and highest priority is the sacred ritual of worship and praise. This ritual is truly one for which we are the “architect of our own futures.” What, Who, is the Holy (the revered) One in our life. Our birth was such a miracle, and for the next three or five years we were so dependent for our mothers who loved and cared for us and our fathers, who loved that whole family unit. The spirit of life was birthed in us; I believe the spirit was the breath the “Ruah” (Ruah is the Hebrew word for breath or spirit of God, or it can mean the Holy Spirit.) of God incarnated in this new creation. That birth was generally recognized, celebrated, and ritualized by either a consecration or a baptism ritual; later attention to the spiritual life of ourselves was ritualized in the ceremony of wedded marriage; that spirit continues to be acknowledged in the rituals we practice in receiving holy communion; and that spirit is recognized in our dinner prayers; and, yes, recognized and revered when we are laid to rest.
This corona virus is forcing us to explore new rituals to care for and tend to our souls. Whether it is reading scriptures or books of inspiration, time on our knees in prayer, whether we journal, meditate, do various theological studies (“theology” means the study of God); the important matter is these rituals feed us, empower us, nourish us, and give us new life and meaning each day. They help us live in the present, in the now, a day at a time.
Corona virus, you may have changed our daily routines, and threaten us daily, but we will continue to develop and practice rituals that keep us strong in spirit. We will continue to support our spiritual communities and fellowships with our offerings and gifts, exploring ways to develop sacred rituals that tend to our heart and inspirit our souls.
And what does the Lord require? … “to love kindness, to do justice, and to humbly God.”
“O Lord, in these darkened pandemic days of history, your steadfast love and presence, needs to come low to us. As in the times of Christ you came, not fearfully, but in trust. A trust you had in us, in the human spirit, that we would acknowledge and be ignited by the good news of faith, hope, and love. That we could catch the flame, catch the dream, visioning your Kingdom, the Kingdom of God. And you did it. With wonderful such wonderful patience and compassion you awakened us into a new era. Comfort us again LORD, that in our convictions of your hope in us, we may respond with our conviction in you, to live deeper, richer, fuller, more abundant lives in faith and love.
“In Christ, we pray and with the array of so many prophets biding your love. Amen.”
(written by JDNenninger, 5-21-20
We're an aging class. These "golden years" are special times for reflection; review of life stories; creating legacies; enjoying abundant living; sharing deeper things in life.
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John Barry took seven years to write this book, published in 2004, and revised in 2018 before Covid-19. This book offers us a current and future roadmap into our future with this virus.. It's factual and covers the Spanish Flu of 1918 that took an estimated 50 to 100 million lives around the world. Many in our own families died from this virus, which still has no vaccine.