The lamps have been lighted and the shiny garlands hung around our doorways to signal our welcome and invitation to Lakshmi.
The altar has been cleaned and the minister has put on a new suit, the brass polished and the sweets set out to share.
But this remains a Unitarian Universalist service, not a Hindu temple. Would Laskshmi want to enter this holy place not of her own tradition?
We offer prayers and chants with respect and honor, not to claim them as our own. Here we see an abundance of gratitude for those who have shared their culture and rituals with us, and an abundance of inspiration from the stories and practices of Diwali.
We light our candles as sacred ritual to honor the lives of those who worship. Here, we see an abundance of love to surround those who are struggling, and an abundance of joy freely shared by those whose lives contain it.
We share our offering, we share the sweet treats of the holiday, we share our gifts and talents in ministry to one another. Here, we see an abundance of resources that guide our mission as a religious community, and an abundance of willingness to explore that mission together.
Welcome, then, Lakshmi. I see you’re already here. The abundance you represent has already made its presence known in our congregation.
Welcome abundance, welcome prosperity, welcome love and welcome light. Make yourselves at home in our hearts as we sit together in sacred silence.