Family is where it is!!!!!

Family is where it is!!!!!
Christmas in Disney
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Remember that "Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly,                love fully and laugh uncontrollably....."


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter, simple isn't it? By Bruce Reyes-Chow (Presbyterian Minister USA)

Jesus, Bunnies and other thoughts on Easter

Okay, okay . . . I suppose that I am slightly obligated to post something on Easter. I can just hear it now from pretty much anyone that wants to bust my pastor chops, "Dude, you are the one that is here to poke and prod at the spiritual proclivities of the SF Gate community and you didn't post anything on Easter, DURING Easter? Nice going you big slacker!"

So fine . . . let me informationally muse about the season and event that the Christian church calls Easter - And this year coincides with the Jewish Passover - but just don't get used to me tackling such obvious topics in the future ;-)

First let try to preempt some of the "flames" that might come my way regarding this whole Easter thing. I do this simply to challenge folks to stay away from the too easy and inflammatory jabs and towards some helpful and informed discourse. If you want to disagree with me - which I very much welcome and expect - I want to at least help folks be more informed about my own perspectives as One of THOSE Christians.

So here is what I'll stipulate to and hope folks will see as a wide wide wide - Did I mention wide? - spectrum of beliefs when it comes to Easter and the Christian faith.

EASTER itself is not original. We all know that there have been contextual traditions and rituals that Christianity has incorporated into its life: Pagan, Gnostic, Jewish, Hallmark ;-) etc. While there have certainly been instances where Christianity has hijacked culture, in most cases, I think the incorporation of culture is a positive way to be relevant in the context of doing ministry and being church. I for one am under no delusions that Christianity is a "pure" religion, in fact I embrace the grace-filled messiness where my faith formed and guided by my heart and mind.
RESURRECTION of the body is an aspect of the faith that creates great tension for many in the church. Some do not feel the need to affirm the actual bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ in order to claim a Christian faith while others believe bodily resurrection is a non-negotiable. I am one that believes in the bodily resurrection, but feel like God is big enough to handle broad interpretations of the event of the resurrection story.
FAITH is ultimately a choice so there really is no purely logical and systematic way to prove or disprove the relative truth of one's belief system over another. This place of secure mystery is where I beleive most people of faith live, a place where heart and mind converge and one is compelled to beleive in something beyond rational explanation. This manifests itself in many ways, often creating conflict between and within faith traditions. In the case of the Christian tradition, faith choice is centered on a belief in a fully divine, fully human manifestation of God on earth, Jesus Christ.
Okay, but even with all of this, "Why Easter?"

Simply put, Easter, for Christians of my ilk, is a promise from God that tells us that even out of the depths of despair, suffering and even death - through our own actions or the actions of others - forgiveness, liberation and new life are possible. We have chosen to believe that this generous reality has been given to each of us as individuals and communities; and because of God's ongoing forgiveness for the ways that humanity has turned away from God, we live a life fueled by gratitude. As Christians, we understand this convergence between humanity and the divine to take place in person of Jesus Christ.

Basically, Easter is about HOPE and the belief that despite the PAIN, OPPRESSION and HATE that we see around us, God is a God of NEW LIFE, FREEDOM and LOVE.

See, simple isn't it? ;-)