Sunday, 31 March 2013

What Easter means to me ~

Was Jesus divine or not?  The Christian observance of Easter raises complex issues, which deserve serious consideration, one of which relates to whether he was resurrected, and therefore divine - or not. 

I used to take all that as read, but now hold much simpler views: I see these questions as a distraction from the practical reality of his life: that Jesus was an incredibly brave advocate of peace, who was killed by those who wished to continue to suppress the poor and disadvantaged as well as those who thought differently from themselves.  I find the story of his life inspirational.  Being reminded of this at Easter time places the challenge of what I am doing in my own life squarely before me, making it a good time to reaffirm my commitment to contribute as best I can to what is good and wholesome here and now. 

Jesus, like other great spiritual teachers, taught the value of love and forgiveness, of helping others with no thought of return, and made a point of relating to everyone as equals, the poor and powerful alike.  No wonder the authorities of the day, both Roman and religious, found him threatening.  It would seem however, that he did not intend to be disruptive, advocating that everyone pay their taxes as required.  This must have had the authorities scratching their heads.  But he didn't bow down to them, or pay any attention to what he considered to be petty codes and rules, which as we all know from daily experience can make the said authorities very angry indeed.  Hmm. 

I often carry the little rosary pictured, not because I consider myself to be a Christian especially, but to remind myself of what's important.  In this respect Easter time is a time when I raise Jesus up - in my awareness and as a source of inspiration.  I am content for the truth about his resurrection and ascension to remain a mystery. 

I also remember those dear to me who have left this world, to whom the teachings of Jesus were an inspiration and guiding light: dear Zoe, who on Easter Sundays would get up early to drive to a deserted hilltop there to watch the sun rise; and my father and his mother who both earnestly studied the scriptures as well as other books on spiritual guidance and who pushed back against the conventions of their day with which they found themselves at odds.  I learnt much from each of them and enjoyed their friendship. 

While I was reflecting on this Rewi summoned me back to the present by calling me to lunch.  I grumbled.  I'm not good at changing gear - from my inner world to the outer one, or from one task to another.  I grumbled about the cabbage water which had inadvertently been served with the meal and then burst into tears.  I really miss the older friends I had been thinking of, and have to manage without them, which I would much rather not.  Tears for the dead...  

But lunch was delicious and life goes on.  My sister phoned while I was eating, and I will phone her back for a proper chat; then I will go next door and photograph the new wooden casings which John has just made and fitted on the corners of the house next to where it has been re-roofed.  Life with its ups and downs is still full of good things.  And I in turn can add to that.   
~Happy Easter ~