Being an April baby, Easter has occasionally coincided with my birthday. This was delightfully confusing when I was a little girl. Bunny rabbits and fancy dresses, birthday cakes and sunrise services, gardenia corsages and presents. All too much to take in properly when I was really small. I soon learned, however, that, in order of priority, my birthday was quite a ways down the ladder of importance from Easter Sunday.
I suppose I've been pondering the significance of Easter for the whole of my life. It is the crux of the Christian faith, after all. If Jesus didn't really rise from the dead, the whole thing is pretty much rubbish. As a person of faith, I believe that he did, and this tells me death is something that can ultimately be conquered; that we will live again, just as he did. Even though it's far outside my understanding, that's still where I place my hope.
These days, it's hard to find Jesus in religion. When one reads the Beatitudes, the values of Christ stand in razor-sharp contrast
to what we often see represented as American Christianity. Those he called Blessed - the meek, the merciful, the poor in spirit, the peacemakers, those who mourn, those who hunger for righteousness - seem to have been cast aside, mocked and deemed weak, and in their place we find the arrogant, ignorant, and mendacious being praised and exalted as never before. At a time when we so dearly need the comfort of faith, the church can seem like the last place in which it can be found.
But the words of Jesus cannot be drowned out by a louder voice, nor do they fade under a liar's glare. We are seeing them come soaring to life right before our eyes. As he told us in Matthew, "the last shall be first, and the first shall be last". This pandemic is proving that truth in ways we couldn't have imagined. For it is not the celebrated, the over-paid, or the powerful who are holding us together at present. It is the ones so often overlooked, undervalued, and discounted. The grocery worker, the nurse, the sanitation worker, the delivery person, the ambulance driver, the hospital janitor. Those whom many in this country would deem unworthy for a paltry increase in the minimum wage, the ones who don't deserve health care, education, or an affordable place to live, the ones who have to fight for their right to vote are, we see now, worth just as much, or more, than any corporate head. Today, without them, our country would collapse. It is divine truth, uncovered, and set out into the light. The last are first.
This year Easter falls straight down into a grieving, frightened, insecure world. One where we have been forced into silence and solitude. The wonderful writer Arundhati Roy recently called this pandemic "a portal, a gateway between this world and the next". In this time of quiet separation we have the time to ponder what we want to carry with us into this next world. What will we set down? What will we hold tighter? We have a lot of decisions to make.
Perhaps we've all been given a second chance to get it right.
I have to believe that.
After all Easter is synonymous with hope.
Pamela - lovely to have this post from you at Easter time. We all stand together at this terrible time and I know we will get through it. At my advanced age I maybe view it all from a different standpoint - but I send you all my good wishes and love.ReplyDelete
Thank you for your deep and powerful words. Words fail me to say more except Happy Easter Day to you and yours.ReplyDelete
Thank you for what you say and may you have a blessed Easter...I hope we will take this chance and change things back to the true message of Christ.ReplyDelete
Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Carol in VTReplyDelete
Thank you so much for this truth. Praying that there is light at the end of this tunnel.ReplyDelete
We are so grateful for our place to shelter; but sick about those who have no place; and those heroes whose lives are in danger who continue with their heroics.
Thank you for these words which ring such truth!ReplyDelete
I always admire what I perceive as TRUTH in your posts!ReplyDelete
and this one especially.
and I don't know about other places... but here the HERO workers who are serving all of us seem to be cheerful. they've never made enough money but there is no bitterness. they are glad to have jobs and be working. we have GOT to come out of this with a new and BETTER perspective. there are no "jobs" above others. it takes ALL of us!
thank you for this most beautiful of posts! xoxo
I'm reading a wonderful book by Jon Meacham, "The Hope of Glory". It's about Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross. It's very good reading and especially nice during these uncertain times.ReplyDelete
I am so glad that there are still those who believe what Christianity was taught them when they were younger. The disparity of what I was taught in church and how I saw people behaving (Texas panhandle) was much too much for me to bear, and I've not considered myself to be part of any organized Christian group in years. Just as I protested the Vietnam war with such vigor, I can't understand why those who consider themselves Christians are not protesting loudly this current version of Christianity. So kudos to you for holding that faith.ReplyDelete
Pamela...thank you...and AMEN!ReplyDelete
Bless you, Pamela, for sharing this. Yes, this is a chance for our eyes and hearts to be opened. May we not be blind to it. In catching up with your last two posts, (1) many congratulations on your to-be-published book and (2) George is an absolute darling. You have a rare gift of expression and it's one I treasure. May you and all those you love stay well and may God watch over each one.ReplyDelete
What a lovely post with so much wisdom. Thank you.ReplyDelete