Happy Easter

Emma is waking up at her grandparents right now and Richelle and me are just getting out of bed, making calls, and getting ready for the day. It’s a tradition we started last year, that I’m looking forward to as the years come.

Easter is a weird holiday, in that, as the article from Slate states below, has resisted commercialization and has retained much of its religious meaning. Having grown up in a house without organized worship of any kind, I don’t have many memories of Easter eggs or baskets. In fact, my fondest memory of Easter is one of recent years – that of my mom, calling me the night before from the nursing home, reminding me to bring her a chocolate egg.

That egg was important to her. To her, a Catholic who had doubts about the faith’s practices, Easter had to do with family and new beginnings.

I think the tradition we are setting up with Emma, with Richelle’s parents, is very much in keeping with that.

The events in Christ’s life, death and resurrection, point you in that direction, thinking about renewal, and what it means for your faith – for your life.

Every year I kick myself at not getting back in the habit of going to church. A habit I had only a short while as an adult that ended when Hunter, my nephew, died immediately after my confession on Saturday, September 15th 2001. A few days after 9/11.

For so many, they find solace in religion during times like that. I wish I could be like that. My instinctual reaction was the opposite.

As I get older, I am starting to realize that doubt, reason and faith are not necessarily at odds. That it is we human beings that demand straight lines and simple rules to dictate our universe and paradoxes upset our world so mightily that it can be hard to face the day when any light is shone on them.

tonypierce + happy easter:

today is one of the most holy days for Christians around the world.
today is the day that the Christian messiah, Jesus, came down from Heaven
and walked around and said, see, told ya I’m God.
everyone pretty much freaked out.

funny thing about Christians, they basically run the world
yet when it comes to their holiest days they act ashamed.
instead of wearing t-shirts that say Jesus
or putting a nice picture of Jesus on their door
or a nice poster of Jesus in their window
and say, Right On, Jesus,
they buy candy and paint eggs and hide them
and wear hats and have brunch
just like they’ve never even heard of Jesus
and dont marvel at what he did for them.

they act like dirty heathens, basically.

…the good book says that it’s not
the things that go in our mouths
that we should worry about
it’s the things that come out
of our mouths
that matter.

…get yourself in situations
where you get to say some badass shit

Slate: Happy Crossmas!:

Despite the awesome theological implications (Christians believe that the infant lying in the manger is the son of God), the Christmas story is easily reduced to pablum. How pleasant it is in mid-December to open a Christmas card with a pretty picture of Mary and Joseph gazing beatifically at their son, with the shepherds and the angels beaming in delight. The Christmas story, with its friendly resonances of marriage, family, babies, animals, angels, and—thanks to the wise men—gifts, is eminently marketable to popular culture. It’s a Thomas Kinkade painting come to life.

On the other hand, a card bearing the image of a near-naked man being stripped, beaten, tortured, and nailed through his hands and feet onto a wooden crucifix is a markedly less pleasant piece of mail.

The Easter story is relentlessly disconcerting and, in a way, is the antithesis of the Christmas story. No matter how much you try to water down its particulars, Easter retains some of the shock it had for those who first participated in the events during the first century. The man who spent the final three years of his life preaching a message of love and forgiveness (and, along the way, healing the sick and raising the dead) is betrayed by one of his closest friends, turned over to the representatives of a brutal occupying power, and is tortured, mocked, and executed in the manner that Rome reserved for the worst of its criminals.

We may even sense resonances with some painful political issues still before us. Jesus of Nazareth was not only physically brutalized but also casually humiliated during his torture, echoing the abuses at Abu Ghraib. In 21st-century Iraq, some American soldiers posed prisoners with women’s underwear on their heads as a way of scorning their manhood. In first-century Palestine, some Roman soldiers pressed down a crown of thorns onto Jesus’ head and clothed him in a purple robe to scorn the kingship his followers claimed for him. After this, Jesus suffered the most degrading of all Roman deaths: crucifixion. Jesus remains the world’s most famous victim of capital punishment.

To his followers, therefore, his execution was not only tragic and terrifying but shameful. It is difficult not to wonder what the Apostles would have thought of a crucifix as a fashion accessory. Imagine wearing an image of a hooded Abu Ghraib victim around your neck as holiday bling.

slacktivist: Practice resurrection