Ingathering and the High Holy Days

“Look, fish, you’re already in the ocean. Just swimming there makes you friends with glory. What are these grudges about?”

Jelal ad-Din Mohammad Rumi, Persian mystic, 1207 – 1273
Rev Lee casting away bread crumbs as a symbolic way of casting away our wrong-doings on Rosh Hashanah
Rev. Lee casting away bread crumbs as a symbolic way of casting away our wrong-doings on Rosh Hashanah

My son informed me this summer that I’m bad at saying “I’m sorry.”
He said, “Mom, no ‘buts’. Just say I’m sorry and leave it at that.”

Ooof. Guess I still need some work in the apology department! And as Rumi points out, l need practice at letting go of grudges, too.

Maybe we all do? Maybe the Jews are right and these are lifelong practices that we need to return to again and again- apology and forgiveness.

The beginning of our “regular” church year lines up with the Jewish High Holy Days of Rosh Hashanah, the Ten Days of Awe, and Yom Kippur. Each year we get another chance to start over again, both personally and together. I think of it as a time for what is called in AA circles “a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.” Jewish people also use this time to practice generosity, to pay it forward, to give money away. One thing I love about the Jewish tradition is that the whole congregation does this together. It also helps that there is a deadline: Yom Kippur. Procrastination is such a powerful force.

In a community like this one, some of us have been around a long time and know each other like extended family, warts and all. We love each other, appreciate each other, annoy each other and push each other’s buttons. That just happens in a real community. As in families, apology has to be part of communal life, and so does forgiveness.
“I’m sorry”. “We are sorry.” Such simple words, and sometimes so hard to say… no “buts” about it! Yet sometimes those words help us lay a burden down.

We’re starting a new church year this weekend, together! I hope to see many of you in the gardens on Saturday from 1:00 to 3:00, and on Sunday in the backyard at 10:00.
In anticipation,
Rev. Lee