An envelope recently arrived on my front door with review copies of many different books. One, Faith: Five Religions and What They Share, immediately caught my eye. I put it aside to read it so I could discuss it with our daughters.
While I read and pondered Faith: Five Religions and What They Share, the girls read the other titles we received. They recently discovered chapter books and two of the books in the envelop kept them reading and talking for days. The Island Horse by Susan Hughes and Margaret and the Moth Tree by Brit Trogen and Kari Trogen fit both their interests.
I kept going back to the book about faith. During this Easter season, we spend a lot of time pondering our family’s Episcopal faith. We talk a lot about what Lent means and how we celebrate the Easter season. What I really like about this book is it breaks religions into easy-to-understand parts and shows the similarities of each.
Some things were obvious, like the Golden Rule. We know that all religions have a rule similar to “do unto others as you would have them do to you.” The importance of sacred texts was a nice explanation of the different books each faith holds, well, sacred.
There were other things I never thought about before like the use of water in each religion. The book explains that “washing is a way of purifying oneself before entering the presence of God.” It was interesting to read how a basic element like water flows through all five religions.
In our multi-cultural world, it’s nice to have something to help us teach our girls that we are more alike than we realize. Our church is holding our annual Lenten outreach program. This year we’re collecting books for a low-income school where several of our members taught. Community service is another thing we all have in common. We’ll be donating the books we received as part of our contribution to the community.
I hope Faith: Five Religions and What They Share will end up in a home where it can teach another family about how similar we all are at our core.