What is faith? Faith, by definition, means “complete trust or confidence in someone or something”, but I believe faith is a trait, or something we have ingrained in ourselves. But that also means that we need to follow through with this everyday, and it is a constant part of our lives. As a Hindu, I am still on this journey of discovering what my faith really means and its importance. I believe everyone has at least some faith in God and religion, though. I am not a very religious person, but I strongly believe in God and that God is there to guide us throughout our lives. Since my family is not extremely religious, we do not pray every day as people who are more religious do, but we do celebrate certain festivals that are meaningful...
to us and worship on those days. For example, Diwali is a very important festival that we celebrate every year. When we worship, we set up an altar with idols of our gods and goddesses, and after reciting our prayers, we give offerings to them, such as flowers and sweets. Another important part of our prayer is the diyas, or little clay oil lamps, which we light and put along the path leading up to our house and which we put on our altar during prayer. These lamps symbolize a big part of our faith, and the message of this festival is present in all Hindu mythology: the triumph of light over darkness, good over evil, and knowledge over ignorance.
At the beginning of this year, I had no idea who Jesus was… in fact, a few years ago, I
thought Jesus was God! I really didn’t understand his importance in Christian faith. But now, I am starting to see some similarities between Jesus’s message and the teachings of Christianity and my own faith. An important similarity that I found between Christianity and Hinduism is the idea of righteousness, that we are responsible for our own actions and we must repent for our sins, and showing kindness and compassion to those less fortunate than us. At this point in my life, I know that Jesus was the Messiah, the savior of God’s people. He was a leader, compassionate and kind. He brought glad tidings to the poor, liberty to captives, recovery of sight to the blind, and freedom to the oppressed. Today, Jesus is a symbol of strength, saving grace, human weakness, hope, life, love, understanding, knowledge, wisdom and so much more. The reason I say this is because he was a perfect example of God’s message: he taught repentance as well as generosity, forgiveness, love, and justice.
The word “Gospel” means “good news”. My first impression of this was that the good news would be a restoration of a relationship between God and God’s people after the collapse of the kingdom, the Assyrian invasion, and the Babylonian exile, or the coming of the Messiah, because that was just what the people needed: hope. When I searched up the definition, I found that the Good News was in fact the message of Jesus Christ — in other words, the salvation of the faithful. The Gospels elaborate on this story of Jesus’s birth, death on the cross, resurrection in order to restore the relationship people God and
his people, and the resulting promise and hope of being saved for any who believed and followed Jesus. To me, the Good News is a reassurance that not all people are bad people, and the good actions of people will not go unnoticed. God is still watching over and caring for his people: God is present everywhere.