The Bible is full of examples of the Divine Feminine, but most people think only of the male attributes of God, our Father, or the proverbial “Man Upstairs.” Without seeing God as our Heavenly Mother, mainstream Christians are missing an important part of the story. Today we celebrate Mother’s Day — and not only do we honor our human mothers, we give thanks and praise to our Mother in Heaven. We also tell the story of Pandita Ramabai, a Hindu woman who worked for equal rights for women and girls in India, and later became a Christian.
In this week’s service, we focus on the theme of Joy — rejoicing even despite our troubles and afflictions, which is made possible by faith in a God who loves us with infinite compassion. In the middle of Lent, we pause for celebration of a God who cares for us and uplifts us as our perfect Mother and Father in Heaven, fortifying our souls for the journey to the cross of Christ that lies ahead. We also tell the story of Fanny Crosby, who overcame severe disability and became one of the most prolific hymn writers in history.
There are many things that people want in life, but only some things are good for us. A big part of the human experience is to learn how to choose wisely what we do and don’t do, according to our spiritual values, rather than acting only according to instinct.
In this week’s service, we focus on the theme of Temptation, and our calling to resist addictive and self-indulgent behavior that leads to suffering. We also tell the story of King Louis IX of France, a pious ruler who resisted the temptations of self-indulgence and corruption of worldly power.
Two thousand years ago, in Israel, there lived a very special man. Jesus of Nazareth, the son of a carpenter, was put to death for claiming to be the Son of God, the Jewish messiah. He was one of many men at the time who made such a claim and died for it. But he is the only one who became the founder of a great world religion. Today, Jesus is remembered not only for his bloody death on the cross, but for what he said and did before the crucifixion — and the Christian religion he founded is a source of moral and spiritual guidance for over 2.4 billion people, nearly one-third of the world’s population.
Two thousand years ago, a Jewish teacher of humble origins became the founder of a movement that has grown to become the largest religion in the world. There are many different interpretations of the man and his message — but who was the real Jesus Christ, and what did he really teach?
In part one of this two-part series, we focus on the themes of charity, healing, and forgiveness. And we tell the story of Lillian Trasher, the “Nile Mother,” a brave and devoted servant of God who lived up to the calling of Christ by serving people in need.