Judaism, Christianity and Islam share many things in common. They share sacred stories, sacred geographies and a sense that they worship one God. This year, they also share a sacred time. For Jewish people, it is Passover; for Christians, it is Lent/Easter; and for Muslims, it is Ramadan/Eid. The dates for Passover, Easter and Eid al-Fitr change from year to year, since each follow a different calendar. Thus, these dates rarely come together as they have this year. In April 2023, followers of these three religions seize their holy moments together.
In a world that is divided by religious conflicts due to ignorance and prejudice, we at Emmanuel College are blessed to learn about these holy days and experience them respectfully and appreciatively. For example, when Jewish and Christian members celebrate Passover and Easter, they are mindful of their Muslim friends’ observance of Ramadan; our meal-sharing event can wait until sundown so that all can participate. This is the beauty of creating interfaith learning opportunities and bringing together students from diverse backgrounds and practices.
In a world that suffers from ideological binaries, we at Emmanuel are blessed to learn about the paradox of faith—namely, how to hold seemingly opposing things together with a sense of awe and joy, without losing sight of their differences and nuances. For example, fullness is experienced in emptiness, binding fasting and feasting together in tension. This is not limited to the faiths that trace their origins through Sarah, Hagar and Abraham; the same applies to Buddhists, Sikhs, Humanists and other traditions that all find a home at Emmanuel. These holy days bring out this special quality for everyone here.
I pray that we continue to seize these shared holy moments as they come to us. I invite us to continue to walk in the path of respect and openness to others, always seeking to appreciate and not to judge.
— Principal HyeRan Kim-Cragg