Peace, one and all…
In Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians we read the following beautiful words:
‘Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple’.
(1 Corinthians 3:16-17)
I really love this passage. It speaks very deeply to me. In this passing moment, this is what these words say to me…
Our living humanity is sacred, a dwelling place for the Spirit of God. Each and every human being contains within themselves a sacred centre, an inner temple where the Source within lives. This is why our individual humanness is sacred in itself, and why we are called to defend it in this day and age.
But more than that, from our very beginnings we are a community, a human family. This is why our communions with take place in their deepest sense within sacred community. It is also why virtually all of the world’s spiritual traditions place such emphasis upon the development of conscious community. Individually and collectively, we are all God’s temple.
We can also see this notion at work in the opening chapter of the Quran, Surah al-Fatihah. This prayer has been compared to the Christian Paternoster, and is often recited by Muslims, on all sorts of occasions. This prayer asks God for mercy, guidance and divine companionship, and does so only within the context of a living community. ‘You alone do we worship, and from You alone do we seek aid’ (1:5); and ‘Guide us to the straight path’ (1:6). Here it is in full:
‘In the name of God, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
All praise is due to God, Lord of the worlds
The Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful,
Sovereign of the Day of Recompense.
It is You we worship and You we ask for help.
Guide us to the straight path –
The path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor,
not of those who have evoked [Your] anger or of those who are astray’.
(Surah al-Fatihah 1:1-7)
Beloved Dost, Friend of All, help us to open ourselves to you, in both our unique individuality and our shared humanity.