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Blessed be the flowers

It’s a glorious spring day and in honor of the day and the season, I offer you the Unitarian Universalist (UUA) tradition of celebrating life by exchanging flowers as a form of communion. The tradition, which began in Europe after World War I, calls for members to share flowers with each other and is wonderfully celebrated in words by Michael DeVernon Boblett in his poem “Blessing for Flower Communion”:

Blessed be the flower that triumphs at last
     Over the snows, over the centuries,
         over the heavy feet of cattle and of soldiers
             treading down the fragile places of the earth.


Blessed be the flower that triumphs at last
     Over the tangled branches, over the withered stem,
         over the tearing thorns of roses and of barbed wire.

Blessed be the flower that triumphs at last
     Even over the hand that gathers it,
         cuts it off from life, from roots,
             from the memory and taste of iron and tears in the soil.

Blessed be the flower that triumphs at last
     Over the closed rooms that are not its home,
         over efforts to domesticate its wild truth,
             over the vain words of priests and poets.

Blessed be the flower that triumphs at last
     Over us, over pasts and futures, over words and silences,
         over deaths and lives, placing them all in their proper place,
             restoring to all things their joyful smallness.

Blessed be the flower that triumphs at last.

posted in Religion | 0 Comments

Thoughts for a Sunday

Today’s Boston Globe has an interesting article by Philip Jenkins. In “Dark Passages,” Jenkins explores the concept of religious texts that promote violence, noting particular passages from the Koran that may inspire modern Islamic terrorists. He also states: “If Christians or Jews want to point to violent parts of the Koran and suggest that those elements taint the whole religion, they open themselves to the obvious question: what about their own faiths?” Jenkins goes on to claim that the Bible has far more vicious examples of violence (particularly the Old Testament) than the Koran. “Commands to kill, to commit ethnic cleansing, to institutionalize segregation, to hate and fear other races and religions…all are in the Bible, and occur with a far greater frequency than in the Koran,” claims Jenkins. The larger issue, of course, is the perspective and context given to these texts that determines their emphasis or if they are taught at all. In the end, social attitude influences the interpretation of religious texts, according to Jenkins, and this forms the foundation of a modern-day faith that depends entirely on the beholder.

posted in In the News, Religion | 0 Comments

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