April 10, 2015

A Simple Song, Lent and After

That's What Matters
by Rebecca St. James

...Don't wish for a better day
Be glad and use the one you're in
Fear God and do exactly what He says
That's what matters
All else fades like the flowers

Well, he'd tried pleasure
There was nothing in that
He built houses, gardens, parks

What good did it do?
Just got him more depressed
Meaningless - Meaningless
He said "Everything's meaningless
But this is what I learned in all my years...

Many of us hear the word religion and all kinds of thoughts and reactions arise. We tend to make it complicated, intellectual, even. We like to think it isn't about politics, it's about god; it isn't about society, it's about spirituality, and so on. Well, it is about all these things, and some more. 

It's simple, really. Religion in another view is about lives, human lives living day to day. We all have thoughts, feelings and relationships. What and how we think about ourselves and the world which we are part of, vastly influences the style and quality of that human existence. So religion need not be icky or avoidable, because it's just about life. And all of us have some experience with that (Currently many are observing the Easter traditions: see Ash Wednesday: Lent in two minutes, a video.).

So a little help from others may just be what makes a community; for some, it sure makes an opening for a spiritual experience, like this song. Do we need to have an organ playing a dirge song to have a religious experience, do bells need to ring or incense waft upward? In my experience, I have discovered that most often I get out of something more or less what I put into it.

If a church, temple or community doesn't move me, then maybe I haven't given much of myself. Maybe my pre-existing notions circumvent me from connecting. Sure, I didn't get anything out of it; I'm just not. But what else did I expect? Nothing gets nothing.

Can our everyday coming and goings be a small part of the whole of life? If so, then this and many other songs may too. They touch us in some meaningful way. A simple song can create an awareness, an appreciation that we had not the sense of before. It's all religion, and like an artist, it's a part of my day. Everyday.

Now the Lenten period has concluded; Easter, the principle observance on the Christian calendar, has come and that leaves us at Pentecost, the Feast of the Weeks.
Pentecost is an ancient observance. At this time we reflect on the wonders of the Holy Spirit who descends upon the disciples, as we read in the Bible and the Faithful bringing his spirit upon them. Exodus 34:22 In Exodus, there is reference to this festival, though it has not yet taken on the character of the later era known by the early Christians.

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