Tag Archives: easter

Happy Easter

I know that I should wish people “Happy Easter.”

I should say, in Greek, “Christos Anesti!” (Χριστος Ανεστι! “Christ is risen!”). And you could respond, in Greek,  “Alithos Anesti!” (“He is risen indeed!”).

I should avoid the Easter confusion and wish you “Happy Resurrection Day!” since I don’t want you to think that I think Easter is merely about chocolate.

I should not limit the celebration to this day, but should include Christmas, the day that we use as the anniversary of Christ’s birth. I should add in Pentecost Sunday, as the anniversary of the coming of the Holy Spirit on the apostles in Jerusalem, the birthday of the church. We should add in the Annunciation, the day that Gabriel told Mary that she was going to have a child, which counts as the day that the incarnation happened, that God began the nine-month process of putting on flesh to live among us.

I should include Good Friday, the death of Jesus, the living out of everything he said about how to love, how to forgive. And the day in which, somehow, all sin rested on him.

I should include Maundy Thursday, the night of the Last Supper and the First Communion, the night he gave the symbols of his presence.

And I really should include the floating lunar holiday of Passover, which provided the symbolic context for a lamb being sacrificed, of blood being put on the wood of a doorframe, of death passing over because of the blood.

And should mention manna being provided to give life, and a snake being lifted up on a pole so that people could look at it and live, and a goat being sent outside the camp with blood on its head.

There is so much to cover. There isn’t time.

So Happy Easter.

(posted as well at 300wordsaday.com)

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Jesus and the prostitutes

Jesus, in his last week before dying, is talking to the religious people, the people who were the leaders of the spiritual structures. He told them a story and then said, “the tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the kingdom of heaven ahead of you.” (Matthew 21)

Jesus had gotten in trouble for his interaction with tax collectors and ‘sinners’.  The other day I was looking at these stories and I thought, “these are people who have had to make their livings by selling themselves.'” Tax collectors gave up good relations with their own people, their own tribe, to work for the occupying country. Prostitutes gave up good relations with their own people, their own tribe, to survive.

The people that were listening to Jesus were looking for hope, for identity, for belonging, for someone who would talk with them rather than point at them or demand from them.

And then there were the people who pointed and demanded. The people who defined the tribe. The people who despised compromise. They were the people who did everything they could to silence Jesus, even as the others listened.

I once knew a person who sold her body to survive. She was using the money some to feed her family, some to feed a habit. We tried to help. We told her about Jesus. We gave her money, a place to live. We gave her encouragement and time and what we thought was trust.

I think though, that for at least my part, I missed something. Whatever we were talking about, it wasn’t whatever Jesus was talking about. I think that we were trying to get her to measure up, to live right. And that is no hope at all.

I think, from everything I read, that people with huge gaping holes in their hearts listened to Jesus and thought, “I’m tired of the acid etching my soul. He sounds like he really cares” and even before he died, they found hope.

Which had to make Easter Saturday devastating. They had listened. They had watched their lives turn around. They had been healed, inside and out. And now he was dead. Killed by the people he had said to love. Killed by the people he had forgiven while dying.

It would have been enough to make you give up hope. For maybe a day or two.

Until it was Sunday. And then everything changed.

next steps

I’ve spent Lent as a fairly quiet part of a community over at Lent 2008.  It has been a wonderful time. I’ll tell you more about it tomorrow, I think.

For today, however, for Easter,  I’ll just send you over there, since I couldn’t do any better on this morning than my friend Rob (who I am convinced exists, though I have never seen him or touched him. And Chris, whom I have seen, confirms his existence).

Accepting new life requires us to change our perspective. Just as when we welcome a child and shift our roles from wife to mother, husband to father, so must we shift to accept the risen Christ in our lives. He is different than the one who walked among us. Something has been fulfilled. So, what will it be? How will you accept this new life? How will you receive it? Do you need to pinch yourself….or put your hands in His side? Will you accept that you have been called to be different?

Read the rest of the post here.

And, as they say, xristos anesti.