Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day Zero

Easter is one of my favorite holidays, I like it even more than Christmas. It's like the shy but cute younger brother if Christmas, who can be pretentious and dramatic. I used to like it because I got to wake up to find my basket full of candy (which was a big deal when I was little) and toys and bunnies and eggs, without all the stress of unwrapping and praying that that one thing wanted the whole year would be revealed under the paper, my one chance to get that thing free and clear. Now I like it because I like walking into Story's room and finding him half-naked covered with stickers and sticky jelly-bean residue. I like the shows on the History Channel about Jesus and the Shroud of Turin and the end of time. I like the spirit of new beginnings and resurrection, of going to the grave and rising again.

There's always been controversy about the resurrection and about the Jesus story as a whole and I imagine there always will be. I don't know where you all stand religiously and, at least right now, I don't feel like it's my job to convince anyone of what to believe or how to live, just simply to live and believe myself, the best I can - it's okay, this is not a persuasive essay. In church they say Jesus is all God and all man. The focus often seems to be on his "all God" part and I find that it is the man that I'm drawn to. He was just a guy, who felt all the things we feel, who had the same weaknesses, the difference is he made every right decision in love, which is a capability that I think we all have, as we are made in His image, he's just the only man who's ever actually done it. Then he died, then he rose after three days and told his disciples that yes, it was indeed him, and that he was hungry, he needed something to eat.

The resurrection was a miracle, and here's the thing about miracles: They're hard to believe, they are forever being debated and proven this way and that. The thing is, without that skepticism "miracles" are just "things that happened." It's the doubt that gives us the opportunity for faith. I mentioned earlier the Shroud of Turin, which in my mind is the most compelling evidence in favor of the resurrection, you know, aside from the God-breathed Biblical account of course. Science gets a bad wrap, religiously, for explaining everything, but I think just because you can explain HOW something happened, you can't explain WHY. Explaining how just makes the why all the more interesting. Anyway, nobody can explain how the image got on to the Shroud, it wasn't painted or burned on and the blood was there before the image. Physicists say that if something were to change from matter to energy an image like the one on the Shroud is what would remain, like the shadows on the walls at Hiroshima. I don't know why I'm telling you this except that I think it's so interesting and I get bored thinking about interesting things and not having anyone to tell them to.

I think about the resurrection and I think how I don't like to get out of bed in the morning. I don't know how cold it gets at night in Jerusalem, but here in Arkansas it gets quite cold this time of year and I hate walking out into a cold morning, much less before the sun is up. That's one of the things that makes Jesus all God, I think, not just the whole resurrection thing but having the initiative to do it so early and in the cold. It's the small simple things, I guess. I'd like to, in the spirit of the holiday, start new on Easter, to die to the old things I don't like about myself, to rise into a new attitude, to look at the world with fresh eyes. Tomorrow I start my new job, and it's a good time to start. He is risen, and for the moment at least, so am I.
Happy Easter everyone.

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