Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights, is the most popular of all the festivals from South Asia. It is also an occasion for celebration by Jains and Sikhs. Diwali celebrations extend for five days, beginning Oct 23rd. The festival celebrates the victory of good over evil, light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, although the actual legends that go with the festival are different in different parts of India. For the full Hindu calendar.
Halloween: Holiday in Need of Renovation
Given its pagan roots, some think it evil. We disagree and examine its deeper meaning, religious roots, and contemporary significance, including practical ideas on how to celebrate it today.
Halloween: A Pagan Perspective
One reader reacted strongly to my halloween piece. Since her retort was so well written and so thoughtful, I’ve included her entire rebuttal here.
J Street is a home for pro-Israel, pro-peace Americans who support vigorous U.S. leadership to achieve a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and to broaden debate around Israel and the Middle East in national politics and the American Jewish community.
As a Christian who is pro-Israel, pro-Palestine, and pro-peace, I believe a crucial role needs to be played by US citizens, Jewish, Christians, and others, who can use their influence to encourage Israel, and the leadership of the Palestinian community to take the risks necessary for peace. That’s only one of the reasons I just joined J-Street and sent a donation.
Just as the Israelis and Palestinians were about to re-start peace talks, Israel announced it was building 1600 new housing units in a disputed neighborhood of East Jerusalem. This is both provocative and unacceptable. If US dollars are to continue to flow towards Israel, the political leadership in Israel needs to know that such moves are an outrage to many of us whose tax dollars are meant to support Israeli security, not the expansion of occupation. I invite readers of this blog to learn more about J-Street and its courageous work.
Prayers for Help in Times of Trouble
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My selections include all time favorite and familiar prayers like the Lord’s Prayer, the Serenity Prayer, and the Prayer of St. Francis, along with the contemporary, and very popular prayer of Jabez and the Jelly Bean Prayer. Here you will find prayers for healing, prayers for use at mealtime and bedtime. While I have no scientific measure of how inspirational a prayer might be, nor is popularity to be equated with quality, there is something about the following prayers that make them surely among the world’s most favorite. Inspirational Prayers
Contrary to prevailing public impression, the human body has been, throughout history, and continues to be today, one of the principal symbols of the sacred. It is a central point of focus in Christian art, architecture and iconography.
Genesis refers to humanity as having been created “in the image and likeness of God.” New Testament writers refer to the body as the “temple of God.” “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God?” 1 Cor: 6. Read more …..
What is Heaven?
There are at least four major strands of thought in the Bible and in Christian tradition contributing to contemporary notions of heaven. We look at each.
Churches and cathedrals, temples and mosques, sacred shrines and holy mountains, as well as rivers, lakes and streams … every religious tradition has its sacred places. This gallery of photographs focuses on some of the most noted of these, illustrating how the world’s people carve out a place for the Eternal even in the world of time and space. Enjoy.
Does God control the path of tornadoes that move across the US each spring? As one hears the heart wrenching stories told by victims and watches news reports of the devastation on the ground, the question arises with greater intensity. So how about it? Read more ….