In the second week of our “Got Questions?” sermon series and all-church study, we will consider questions that were raised in the broad category of spirituality. Several people asked questions about encountering the Holy Spirit in the world, about prayer and meditation, about spiritual practices, and so forth. We often make a distinction between “spirituality” and “religion,” as if those are two different things. Are they?
People use the word “spirituality” to describe several different things. Broadly speaking, it refers to a sense of connection with the transcendent, or an awareness of that which is supernatural. If you believe that there is something beyond yourself and sense you are somehow connected with that something, then you are a “spiritual” person.
As Brene Brown puts it, “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion.” (https://brenebrown.com/articles/2018/03/27/defining-spirituality/) For people who are religious, that power is God.
There are those who talk about encountering God on a regular basis, and there are those who feel as though they rarely, if ever, encounter God in the world. Some of us use phrases like, “God has laid it on my heart” to describe what they feel are direct revelations from the Divine. And some of us would LOVE it if God would speak to us, but honestly feel like that never happens.
Neither approach is “wrong.” There is no one single way that is the only right way to be in relationship with God. God is present in all, through all, among all. Jesus very eloquently expressed this idea with a metaphor: “The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
This weekend we will think together about spirituality, and the various ways that the people of God are able to encounter the divine in the world. I’ll see y’all in church!