The Way

There rests on the bookshelf in my office a Hindu Gita gifted to me by a dear friend from India. He was the father of another dear friend of ours who was once our doctor. He died several years ago but I can still hear his voice in my mind as I recall the conversations we had on his visit to the small town in Western Kansas where we lived at the time.
After one of those visits he asked me to wait as I was leaving and retrieved from the back bedroom his small Gita. It was obviously lovingly well-worn and aged as he handed it to me. “Here,” he said, “Take this and read it and let me know what you think.” I thanked him and spent the next several days reading the sacred text of his faith.
I called and set a time to return it and we met once again to visit and have tea. He asked, “What did you find in the book?’ I said that I was struck by the many parallel sayings with the Christian scriptures as the Gita was written some 800 years prior; sayings like “I am the living water,” “I am the bread of life,” “You will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” My friend Bede Sharma smiled in his gentle way and said, “This surprised you?” I replied, “Well, yes.” “It does not surprise me,” he answered.
He went on to explain to me, “You believe Jesus was God’s son?” “Yes.” “So do I,” he said, and continued, “I also believe Krishna was God’s son.” He smiled once again and motioning with an open palmed hand to the sky he enlightened me, “Same root,” he said, “Same root.”
I have long cherished that conversation and that learning moment in my journey of faith, I still have letter Bede wrote to me from India nestled in the Gita that I reference often. I loved and miss my friend but his gentle way and inspiration often guide my own thoughts as I encounter those of differing faith journeys. I think to myself what a wonderful peaceful world this might be if we all, regardless of faith journey or the lack there of, spent more time finding common ground rather than what divides us.
This coming Sunday we will be “pondering” the text of Jesus as the “Way.” Is he the “only” way? To what is he the way? What does it mean to follow that way? I believe there have been many who practice the Way of Jesus who do not consider themselves “Christian.” It is a good place to be, it is a good “Way” to be, a good “Way” to live. I hope you join us this Sunday as we explore the “Way” through the lens of Progressive Christianity.
It is one of the many ways we seek to be faithful to the Spirit and one another here at the Hill, where you are one of the family. Here where there is always an open door, a safe space, a warm welcome, and a place at the table.
Until next week, God bless, and know you are never alone.

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One Response to “The Way”

  1. leslie wright Says:

    I appreciated this post Kent… and then your message Sunday about respecting and understanding others while going deeper into our own faith walk. Lots to ponder in your weekly messages… lots of grace…many gentle smiles. Thank you.

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