In the reading for the Third Sunday After Easter is what has become the main theme for the “pie in the sky when you die” crowd. You know who they are, and you probably know several of them. They’re the ones whose entire spiritual (if you can call it that) message is to put up with the crap life gives you because of the nice things waiting for you when you die. Kind of like how mommy might tell her 4-year-old to stop asking about a particular toy because “maybe Santa Claus will bring it on Christmas”. And the truth is that mommy just wants the child to be quiet.
The fact is, there is nothing in any scripture that calls for us to be doormats. Of course, there is the message to be true to the truth, and there are plenty of people who want their own personal truth to be the only truth anyone knows about.
And soon, like next Sunday, we get to see a bridge being built!
Interesting to see how some politicians twist the meaning of scripture. I suppose that if I were in some country where another path dominated, I might see the same thing in terms of other spiritual paths. I do know that there’s a denomination in Buddhism that’s known in Japan for its political mongering, and I recall a Buddhist priest saying that he saw them as a political party, not a school of Buddhism. So, I guess Fred Phelps is not unique. Then again, Al Quaida and several others in Islam seem to have forgotten what Mohammed said about “People Of The Book”.
Many times I’ve suggested to Christians to look at Matthew 12:31 and John 10:16, and I don’t get much feedback that might make me think they’ve looked. Meanwhile, point that out to many Wiccans I’ve known, and they find it an eye-opener. Not all, of course, there are some Wiccans whose minds are so closed they might as well share a pew with Fred Phelps.
I guess the best thing we can do is try to get it right on our own, and then maybe see if anyone notices.
Quite a number of years ago, I recall a priest I knew make a remark about what a difference it made when he emotionally felt something that he had intellectually accepted for a long time. In his case, he was talking about the Resurrection. Acknowledging it intellectually was one thing, but emotionally is a whole other deal. And I found myself wishing that I could.
Well, during Easter weekend, I had my turn. It wasn’t about the Resurrection, but rather about the day known as Holy Saturday. In many traditions, the altar is stripped and the tabernacle emptied on Good Friday and on Holy Saturday there are no sacraments. In essence, the church pretty much stops for that day, except for getting ready for Easter Sunday. Well, I felt the emptiness. I won’t go into details because it’s my own experience and in these cases you need your own experience. But I felt the emptiness.
Easter, Ostara, whatever you name you give it! And regardless of the Divine event you happen to celebrate (and if more than one, all the merrier and more welcome!) Did you ever notice that there is a basic theme here of fulfillment? Yes, fulfillment at the appointed time. No quibbling about “God’s Time” because this is the appointed time. No hiding behind statements about “God’s will” because the basic fact is that no matter which deities we follow, or well-being and happiness is indeed the Divine Will!
And that’s a good excuse to enjoy this time of year!