I attended an event hosted by Gladdening Light billed as a weekend of music, art, and Marcus Borg. Marcus Borg is a renowned theologian and author. The rational and spiritual parts of myself found harmony as I heeded his wise words. I’ve found myself becoming an apologetic Christian, faintly ashamed to be compared with people I perceive using Christianity and biblical scripture as ammunition with which to judge and isolate others who don’t agree with them.
Dr. Borg argues the central purpose of religion is or should be “How do we become more centered in God? How do we re-connect with the Sacred?” If that statement sounds unduly simple, it may be because it is. The religions of the world, particularly the desert religions, have made religion and access to God a little too complicated for my taste. What we long for is union or communion with The Sacred.
I’m a Claywriter. I sculpt with words and write in clay. Dr. Borg maintains art and creativity provide a means for accessing The Sacred just as prayer and meditation do. As an artist, this was quite affirming. He went so far as to describe art as sacrament. He referenced the power of hymns and symphonic music, times when he was not just listening to the music but was “in the music”. The sacrament of music, like the sacrament of Holy Communion, allows one to access or be in union with God and The Sacred.
“What makes you feel alive” was a question posed by Dr. Borg. “What the world needs is people to come alive.” Fredrik Buechner said, “If you are truly doing what makes you feel alive- your avocations and passions- your own deep gladness and fulfillment will help feed the world’s great hunger.” You are experiencing God’s pleasure when you are filled with the gladness.
So, what gladdens your heart and makes you feel alive? To help you answer that question or start you down the path, check out www.gladdeninglight.org.