Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Who is God?

On Sunday I took the babe to the baptism of my friend's son.  It was held in an Episcopal Church and included a full religious service.

I don't usually get into religion here, but I just had to share a few things.

I was raised Catholic and attended Mass pretty much every Sunday of my life for 17 years.

My husband was raised Hindu.

We now have 2 children who have not been baptized and who do not attend any regular religious services.  When we visit our families in Canada, we go to Mass and we go to the Temple.  We are in a wonderful position where we can educate our kids about love, respect and the fact that there is not one "right" and "wrong" when it comes to different religious beliefs.  We are going for the open approach and plan on helping our kids explore and supporting them if they choose to follow.

An Episcopal service is rather long, similar to the Catholic ones I grew up with.  The babe doesn't have a lot of experience sitting on hard wooden pews and remaining quiet, so it was a bit challenging for her.  I held her up when we stood so she could see what was going on, and tried to support her when she got exasperated by the length of the service.

As cooperative as she was, she occasionally asked questions in a not so quiet voice.  The one I wanted to share with you was, "Mama, who is God"?  Whoa.  That is a REALLY big question and I wasn't exactly in a position to get into it with her.  I whispered to her that we could talk about it in the car.

For the rest of the service I formulated my answer so I would be prepared.  The obvious answer to me was that "God is love."  After things wrapped up at the church we had a 10 minute drive to talk about God, all the different religions in the world, and about how Grandpa and Dadima (my Husband's Mother) both believe in God but attend different places of worship.  I didn't get too deep into it, but I think I covered the basics in as open a fashion as possible.

I know that our open approach to religious education may seem a bit odd to some, but I am hoping that the kids learn that there isn't one answer and that we can support them in their journey, wherever it may lead them.  Luckily the babe seemed satisfied with our discussion; although I'm sure we'll have many opportunities to expand upon it in the future.

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