Easter, Take 2

Bah!  Sometimes I am jealous of actors for the stage.  It would be interesting to have your role grow and change, evolve over time.  I think I would like it if the things I created were dynamic and ever-changing.  As a writer, I know that I can re-write things.  I know that I should feel good about them before I decide I ought to share.  But somehow, this is not quite the same.

I was thinking about all this in connection with the blog I wrote yesterday.  It was a rather stuffy and intellectual approach to Easter.  I am going to try that topic again.  But this time, what I want to do is just share my joy about the fullness of Jesus rebirth, rather than getting hung up on everything that is wrong with Christianity today.

As I said yesterday, the idea that dying is not forever is a huge thing.  But I don’t have anything new to say about that aspect of Jesus’ rebirth.  Today, I am thinking about some other things:

The way things had always been?  They don’t need to be the way things always will be.  My stupid knee-jerk responses aren’t the final word.  My emotional baggage can get unpacked and I can be free of the weight of the sucky things that have happened to me, and the sucky things I have done.

The ways that the world seems to operate are not the ways the world will always operate.  In fact, this way of being is just a hiccup, just a burp.  That voice inside that cries, “This is not the way things were meant to be!”  That has more truth to it the strong preying on the weak, then the big dog eating the little dog.

The hopes that appeared to be lost forever, cut off as they were by a flaming sword, the glory we were intended for…  we are still headed for that glory.  And just as it seems like Adam and Eve were intended to be junior partners, co-participants with God in building this new thing, we are re-enrolled in the process to.

I re-read the accounts of Jesus’ death and resurection last night.  I was strike by two things related to this last point.  The first is that all four gospels specify that it was the first day of the week when they found the empty tomb.  It would have been easy enough for a reader to do the math and figure that out.  But for some reason, it was worth while for all four authors to mention this fact.

It seems like it is meant to echo the very beginnings of the bible: on the first day, God began creating the world.  And on the first day of Jesus’ rebirth, God began re-creating the world.   It is a sign, I think, that Jesus being reborn marks a new era: we are back on the road we were intended for.

Secondly, in each of the gospels the risen Christ enlists his followers in this new re-creation.  We are meant to go out and tell the world about this new possibility that began on the cross.   I think the temptation, with our modern concerns and understanding is to jump right to the part about how we won’t die.  And certainly this  is an important thing.

But there is so much more!  One part of this is just the mere fact that we get to be co-creators, junior partners, in the whole mission of bringing about this new kingdom.


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The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

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