Friday, 13 December 2013

A Multifaith Christmas

So charts and sentiments of this sort seem to be popping up all over the Internet lately. I've seen them so often, and from so many different people/organizations that I can't even tell you where this one is from (if anyone actually knows who created it, let me know)! 

And the impulse toward this kind of generousity seems to come from a good place. A place of recognizing that genuine welcome means acceptance and reciprocity. A place of knowing that we really aren't all the same, and that's okay. And not only is it okay, it's actually good. 

And I'm curious if these kinds of impulses might be providing us with an opportunity to move to a deeper place of acceptance and understanding. A place in which I don't just accept you as different, respond to you politely and move on (you do your thing, I do mine, and it's all good). But a place where we actually attempt to learn about one another's traditions, and to truly come to know one another, not in spite of our traditions, but in light of them.

The winter months particularly, seem filled with celebrations for many faiths. For my birthday this year I received a multifaith calendar and seeing the days marked for various celebrations reminds me of how little I know about the people I meet each day. These are celebrations and traditions that ground us, that inform our decisions, that shape our character. I know for me, my faith tradition is central to who I am, I assume it is for many others as well. :)

So I feel like I'm being invited to get to know some of the faith traditions that are less familiar to me. Perhaps that will mean attending services or having conversations, but since I'm kinda shy and nerdy, the first thing I'll probably do is pick up some books! And for me picking up books doesn't mean finding a world religions text, it means finding the stories that people read their little ones. We always distill our information to what is most central when we present it to our children!

Here are two I'm just starting to explore:

Daughters of the Desert: Stories of Remarkable Women from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Traditions
Daughters of the Dessert: Women from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Traditions

Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story
Night of the Moon

I've found a good collection of multifaith books at A Mighty Girl in their Spirituality and Religion section. They seem to do a good job of selecting quality books that are written by people from within the faith tradition. Hopefully at least some of these are available at my public library!

Looking forward to a multifaith Christmas. :)

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