Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday at MIT

It is Good Friday in a week where the Dalai Lama had to remind his followers what the way of peace might look like. For those who think the influence of religion is all negative, it is not a "good" day. Outside my office students are returning from Good Friday services, others are preparing for the Sabbath meal and Friday prayers have just let out. The voices of the Muslim community are loud, friendly and just like coffee hour at any white suburban congregation in Atlanta. A young friend has just dropped in to vent about his advisor and to tell me what is being done to fund Muslim relief efforts. We both think there is a lot of good work that can result if more resources can be developed for our shared religious enterprises here in the Religious Activities Center.

As Good Friday draws to a close, I will be home in Rockport with my wife; we will spend Saturday preparing for Easter. In the evening we will return to Cambridge and Easter Vigil Services at Harvard's Memorial Church. I will assist with communion at mid-night. The usual crowd is about 300 and there is comfort in knowing that Easter begins for us at the heart of Harvard. Growing up in a serious evangelical community Harvard was always preceded by "Godless". It is not.

Here at MIT we are not Godless either; we are a community of many traditions and sometimes it is unclear if our notion of the divine is but a reflection, but I take comfort that the conversation is vital and the voices are loud. Out of the cacophony meaning can emerge! Easter will be celebrated and for a brief time for Christians there will be clarity. On Monday we go back to reflecting the diversity of our world. That is the way it is.

May your Easter be blessed.