In this Easter season, I’m continuing my reflections on the Universal Christ conference I attended earlier this year. Last week I shared some wisdom from the Rev. Jacqui Lewis and this week I’m focused on her idea of holy curiosity.
One of the underlying threads that wove the conference together was living through the liminal space of holy week. Our liturgies were explorations of the holy week services. The speakers talked about the need for unknowing in our lives. There was a lot of unknowing during Jesus’ final days. We know the trajectory, from the standpoint of history, so it’s hard for us to let go of resurrection and live in the moment, experiencing the seeming endings that came with Jesus’ arrest, trial, and execution.
As Jacqui Lewis put it, we need humility. We need less arrogance as we approach our faith—and every day of our lives. We really don’t know what the future holds. Every day can be liminal space, through which God can speak, if we will allow it—which is why we need holy curiosity.
This past week, I received via email an invitation to the SEMA Foundation’s Iftar dinner later this month. Iftar is the name for the meal Muslims eat at the end of the day during Ramadan, when they break their fast. Two years ago, I talked about the woman I met at my first Iftar dinner. It was holy curiosity which brought Henry and I to that dinner. The woman and I have become friends, although our busy schedules don’t allow us to meet very often. I look forward to joining her for the Iftar meal again this year, and to bringing my holy curiosity to this celebration of her faith.
Jacqui Lewis also talked about the need to have the “T” in Tradition be a “soft,” malleable t. If tradition had always remained rigid, we wouldn’t have Christianity—because Jesus and all his earliest followers were Jewish. We must have new ways to think about God, about creation, and about each other. For Lewis, faith is being on a journey. I’ve lived long enough to know that every journey in my life has changed me in some way, large or small.
We need to embrace liminal space and holy curiosity. Without it, we don’t grow in school, learn our jobs, or become fuller, richer human beings. We need the humility to walk into an Iftar dinner and ask ourselves something like, “What does God want me to learn today about the language and art of being faithful?” We need the humility to recognize that every person on this planet is a child of our one God.
Where are you called to embrace holy curiosity in this Easter season? How might you begin each day with the belief that you are standing in liminal space?