This month, the Unitarian Universalist congregation I serve as Music director has been exploring the idea of embodiment. We’ve talked about sex, tattoos, body art, and birth and death. This Sunday, we’ll explore the many ways we think of healing. One idea that I have come to appreciate over the past few years is the thought that we embody the divine, that the holy is not something “out there,” but rather within us and expressed by us. We often speak of our sanctuary being made holy by our presence, and a pivotal part of our weekly worship is creating sacred space through the physical mundane acts of candle lighting, writing, blowing bubbles, coloring, and moving around the room. The greeting, Namaste, is an acknowledgement of the divine present within the person being greeted, an idea echoed in some Christian circles as, “The Christ in me greets the Christ in thee.” (For some reason, I associate this one with John Wesley, the founder of Methodism.)
A song that has become a favorite of mine is Peter Mayer’s Holy Now. The lyrics chronicle a journey from the divine being separate from us, somewhere distant and other, to a realization that everything is holy, even the air we move through every moment. The song moves us from “a world half there” to swimming in a sea of the divine.
Viewing everything as having a bit of the divine spark changes our relationships with the world and everyone and everything in it. If the same divinity present in me pervades all I perceive, holding onto hatred becomes self-defeating. If we acknowledge the divine, in part, as “the inherent worth and dignity of every person,” we come to the realization that those people we most despise (including certain politicians and former online “news” editors) share a connection with us, and instead of hating them and hoping for their failure, we look for ways to interact with them constructively. This is definitely not the past of least resistance. In fact, I believe it’s our greatest spiritual challenge.
I invite you to take some time to find that divine spark, beginning with yourself, then branching out. I recommend the recent remake of Cosmos, with Neil DeGrasse Tyson, if you need a starting place. It’s available on Netflix. Also, give Holy Now a listen. Here’s a link: https://youtu.be/KiypaURysz4.