Sacred Conversations: Might God Reside in the Sharing of Our Stories?
Every year, as Spring approaches, we read some of the most powerful words in the Torah. “They shall build me a sanctuary”, says God, “that I may dwell among them”.
What does it mean for the infinite God do dwell among us? What does it mean for God to be present in our communities? And what would it mean if Reform Jews could experience God’s presence at every moment?
These are the kinds of questions that the Reform Movement’s Commission on Worship, Music, and Religious Living has been asking for years. And we have come to a remarkable conclusion: God is present when we share our stories – stories of moments of holiness, stories of tragedy and triumph, moments when we felt the embrace of community and moments when we embraced those around us. As we shared our own stories, we began to feel a powerful sense of God’s presence. And we began to wonder, what if every Reform Jew could share his/her story?
Over the next few months, we will begin publishing stories of average Reform Jews– stories of moments when their worlds were transformed – through struggles with tragedy, encounters with the divine, moments when their communities reached out to them or when they reached out to another. Every one of these stories is holy, and everyone is inspiring. But they are only the beginning.
It is time for all of us to create a community of communities – a movement of a million and a half Reform Jews, listening to each other, and caring for each other, all of us finding meaning in each other’s stories. But we need help from all of you.
If you go to http://urj.org/sacredconversations/ you will find a list of prompts that were used for the stories we’ve published. Write your own stories, submit them to the blog. Share them in your congregations. Together, we will grow, and we will find meaning and connection. And ultimately, we will find that our journeys are one and our God is One.