but there's an added layer on it. we're all of different faiths. one of my buddies converted from Christianity to Judaism, as this is his wife's faith. he is devout and they are both really involved in their community. the other couple is an inter-faith couple. and i, of course, am in seminary, so that puts Kate and I squarely in the "Christian Camp." so here's the whole spectrum from total Conservative Jewish to in between to Emergent Christian (if i have to label myself something...).
but this weekend has shown that despite our different religious traditions, we're able to COEXIST. we're friends, closer now, despite the difference. but how? how can we still be friends when there's this gap of faith? won't the difference in religious affliation tear us apart? would we be argue'n with our Jewish friends on the doctrine of the Trinity or convince'n the inter-faith couple to decide which tradition to follow, instead of being some sort of heretical mutt spirituality that will just confuse their kids?
because we learn from each other. we have in the past... my buddy taught me how to properly iron, his wife taught me the importance of not wearing blue with black (and i just LOVE sending Kate with her to shop!). The other dude taught me all the best trails in the DC area and his wife is a great resource for books and movies to watch. watching the interfaith couple talk and navigate their traditions is inspiring and i am constantly impressed and learning new perspectives and ways to compromise. the discussions on religion are RICH because of the different perspectives. we all bring something to it. there is room for us all and we don't get too hung up on the differences, mainly the nuanced similarites.
it reminds me of a verse from my own tradition, James 3:13 which states
The wisdom that comes from above is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise of harvest of righteousness.
there's no ownership on wisdom, it comes from everywhere and anyone can have it, from the 3rd grade educated kid to the 80 year old Harvard Dr. wisdom knows no creed, race, socio-economic status... but it's hard to keep open, to try to include it all. even ones that i'd rather not look for or try to accept.
as evidenced by a recent conversation over at Jason's blog , how do i as a Christian honor my own tradition without superceeding my friends? how can i seek to honor the Jewish roots of my faith without overstepping?
i don't know. but i do know that our friendships will last and that our children will know themselves as friends of the family before they know of the differing traditions. to them, there will be no separation, only honoring and inclusion.
so that's what i'm hope'n to do. to honor wisdom in all forms.. to seek understanding of interpretation and see how it's practically played out. Grace will abound, wisdom will be honored, and everyone is gonna learn something (even if it's not what to say or do...).
blessings to all who are on the journey, seeking to know God (or put "existence" if you're uncomfortable with God-talk) and thanks for your words, insights, challenges, and considerations.