Though I am wary sometimes of the motives of ‘inter faith dialogue’ there are times when I feel an empathy with other faiths. Yesterday, I went to the HIndu Dawali celebration in Trafalgar Square. A band came on stage and got everyone dancing in a circle. It was an overcast day but the rhythm and music and the sheer enthusiasm of those there to just have a good time was impressive and seemed to link us all momentarily. The MC said that Dawali was about recognising the past and looking forward to the good things of the future. There was nothing liturgical or sectarian and the dancers just embraced the moment. We seemed to be joined by our common humanity. Enjoying music and dance became a common bond.
Sadly on the radio was news of the Catholics in Iraq being killed in their own church.
When in the 17th Century the Portuguese came into contact with the Hindu Indians on the coast, as they opened up trade routes, they thought the Indians had already been converted to Christianity. They thought their gentleness was a result of Christian belief.
Though Hinduism with its very different symbols, an elephant headed god, may seem remote to us our own scripture says there is a time to weep and a time to laugh and a time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastese 3.4