Lent: We walk into the gathering danger & doubt surrounding Jesus as he made choices that led to the Cross.
This is a time of preparation & reflection.
Where have you been this year & where might you be going?
What are the things that have kept your journey on pause?
What are the choices you have made that you would like to revisit? A Lenten Collection
Jesus riding on bike with Easter Bunny
It’s Easter: well it soon shall be and as Christians we long to sing our hallelujahs! Soon enough, soon enough …
I’ve been thinking and reflecting about this coming day and the import of it. The reality is that it’s central, quintessential to who we are and how we endeavour to understand what that means in our lives. Sure Christmas gets all the glitz and glamour, the ad campaigns and the jingles now a days … Easter, we have chocolate bunnies everywhere, in fact I just got a chocolate cross! Since I’m Fasting, however, I will have to wait …
We live in this context where the scientific method rules our every moment. We are indoctrinated to quantify & qualify, nothing new, but it’s sort of problematic when faith gets thrown in the mix. Okay the following may be somewhat flip, but hey maybe it’ll make the point, if you’re listening …
On one hand, the method that has allowed us to split atoms, send probes beyond our heliosphere and cure things like polio, malaria and the like. It has also – most unfortunately – led to a literalism within faith communities. After all, if you have to touch it, you better be able to prove it! And a proof today – or posit to get all technical – is sort of difficult around the metaphysical and mystical.
When the Greek Fathers were penning the Trinity, it was an exercise in the imagination to illustrate through the cumbersome reality of words to define that which is, well, bloody indefinable! Now, however, there’s people within the Christian fold that have turned it into an algorithm of proof through which all reality must be weighed and literally quantified. And – here’s the kicker – if you’re not on board, you’re judged: judged = Hell with a one way ticket past that big old Jesus …
On the flip side, you have the same literalism, but those who posit that God does not exist. This fundamental atheism possesses just as much judgement, but rather than going to Hell, we are deemed naïve, ignorant, stupid, misled, & often the cause of every social-ill ever perpetrated or conceived … Let’s be clear, I am not trying to discount or ignore the damage done by faith communities, in particular our Christian tradition certainly has much to reflect upon, claim the mea culpa and prayerfully make new choices to undo our harm!
Somewhere between these two bookends, poles, binaries,
either/or options, there has to be an option
that takes seriously the task of people of faith …
I suspect it begins by recognising, without any sense of judgement, that what we believe is really, well, secondary to what we do by extension of what we believe. In Christian-speak, do we, who have had our hearts broken open by God’s Grace, actually go out into the world to care for others, to extend compassion and to truly lead lives of non-judgement, yet also speak of the righteousness of justice? Do we, who claim any belief system, sit and watch the disparities of our consumer culture and pass judgement on others, fit them into stereotypes that reinforce our world-view and simply feel cosy in the comfort of having the right answer (insert mild rhetorical question mark here:)?
Now, back to the Christian-context of this blog/rant/irreverent musing …
What about the Resurrection you might ask?
Where do I stand? Did it REALLY happen?
And, if so, does that mean I am going to hell or I’m just stupid?
And here’s the rub, of course it actually happened, people don’t just say ‘Hey, I think I will do this because it makes sense and now I will die for it because my brain makes it logical!’ And, of course, it may or may not have literally happened. AND if you believe it did – awesome!
So what are you going to do with that confidence?
Push someone into a scientific & literal argument that gets us back to ‘hell or stupid?’
Or, will there simply be the recognition that words are always inadequate to explain our own epiphanies, revelations, resurrections and new life in Christ?
Is it possible that what is most important is not what you can demonstrate with words, but what you are willing to do with your life?
And, if it is my life that is the gauge, then let me tell you something: I believe we should endeavour every day to let go of our ego and let God. And every day I know that it might actually – literally – mean one’s life and that, dear Reader, is freedom!.
Lenten journeys are a gift and challenge. Our eyes can be opened if we are intentionally preparing ourselves …
What discipline might you consider to introduce during this central time that defines us as an Easter People?