I am sure that imprint has stayed with me in my adult search for deeper and more sophisticated understandings of God and for a place in which I could exercise my joy in worship, song and prayer. Had I been raised in the Jewish tradition, I’d probably find deep meaning in the stories and rituals of that set of metaphors. Had I been raised as a Muslim, I’d probably find deep meaning in those stories and rituals. Digging deep into the Christian tradition at King’s Chapel allows me to travel on my spiritual journey- reading and hearing its stories, parables and metaphors over and over again, following the church year in the Lectionary, understanding that the New Testament only makes any sense in relation to the Old Testament, feeling both confined and freed by an ordered worship service, guided by a Prayer Book so familiar from my past.
I’ve been interested for much of my adult life in theology, the many concepts of God, the intersection of spirituality and psychology (as I am a psychologist), how to understand sin and salvation, how to understand the vast differences in the ways people find and make meaning in their lives. It’s an ongoing and fascinating work. God, for me, is an eternal mystery, and Jesus is a “finger pointing to the mystery” (to quote The Rev. Carl Scovel). I pray to God and find help, meaning, understanding and pleasure in this act. I find I cannot pray to a theory or an abstraction, and that my prayers work and I am changed only when I have a personal relationship to a personal God. It’s a metaphor which really works for me.
Faith is by definition not reasonable, as love is not, and cannot be obtained through reason. Philosophers have tried and failed. Reason is a wonderful tool for analysis and for “thinking through” the logic and science of assertions. The Enlightenment was great for rooting out the superstition and its terrible sequelae from religious assertions of the time. A sad unintended consequence of that same rooting out is the suspicion with which imagination, metaphor, and faith in the unseen and unknowable have been regarded since that time. Kierkegaard’s “leap of faith” is a favorite image of mine. At King’s Chapel, feeling free to explore, question and revise my thinking within the repeated ritual of the Anglican liturgy allows me to take a “plunge of faith” over and over again.
For all of the above unreasons, I feel comfortable saying I’m an Anglican at King’s Chapel.