Stream of Easter Consciousness

stained-glass-2a2So students are sent back to school this week, just in time for Easter.  Nobody wants to have a holiday right on Easter week, especially the public school board.  That’s how you survive,  by being politically correct.  And the last two weeks’ holiday is called Spring Break of course.   Easter has almost become a banned word, like Christmas.  Who wants to be rude and offend others, we’re Canadians after all.

I know,  it’s not totally a taboo yet.  It’s a much tamer word, Easter, than Christmas, just because it doesn’t have the six-lettered word in it.  You can curse with that name, but no, God forbid you should say it in a proper context.   I can see you sneer, what’s a proper context, you ask.  You’re right of course, no word or context is more proper than others, we’re egalitarians after all.  As for Easter, as long as it’s synonymous with eggs and bunnies, pastels and flowers then it’ll never die.  Who needs resurrections?

All Fridays are good.  They even have a whole restaurant chain commemorating the day.  What’s it called… yes,  T.G.I. Friday’s.  Who says we’re not religious, we thank God for happy hours.  We’re much more open-minded now,  more civilized, equal and fair, don’t want to pick one day to be better than the others.  But definitely we won’t forget Ramadan, or the Chinese New Year.

There’s probably no God,  so stop worrying and enjoy your life, the sign on the bus says.  So we’re safe?   Whew!  No God means we can now be happy, worry free, all life, no death, …  Umm just let me figure this one out.  Give me a minute, I’m just not as smart as them.

Jesus wept.  He wept at the graveside of Lazarus, brother of his dear friends Martha and Mary.  He wept at the fragility of life.  He wept at the searing pain of separation.  He wept at the hopeless and uncomprehending expression on Mary’s face, even after he said to her I am the resurrection and the life.

Fleming Rutledge said more than ten years ago:  “I am deeply convicted, more so each year, of the profound sinfulness of the human race.  Yet because of the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ — because of that and nothing else, because of that and nothing less — I am also convicted of the truth of what the Bible tells us about God’s plan of salvation.  The rainbow bridge does not lead to Valhalla, where the gods quarrel so much that they destroy themselves.  The rainbow bridge leads to the Cross and to the empty tomb on Easter Day.”

Utterly politically incorrect!  Who uses the word sin anymore?  Who’s Fleming Rutledge, anyway.  Never heard of him.  No?  It’s a she?  No wonder.

Now these words echo loud and clear too, written by T. S. Eliot in… what, 1934?  Aren’t they a bit archaic now?  Or, maybe they’re really prophetic:

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?

Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries

Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.

We should go on living, be happy and worry-free, the sign on the bus says.

So we go on living…

and Jesus still weeps.

stained-glass-41

*****

Original photos and text copyright by Ripple Effects, https://rippleeffects.wordpress.com, April 2009.  All Rights Reserved.

Published by

Arti

If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

5 thoughts on “Stream of Easter Consciousness”

  1. How foolish we can be. I enjoyed reading your thoughts! The world rejoiced at his death and we rejoice at His ressurection. So many paradoxes…

    Ellen,

    “The world rejoiced at his death and we rejoice at His resurrection” … Thanks for your thought-provoking comment!

    Arti

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  2. Great post. It’s funny how political correctness isn’t universal.

    I love that T. S. Eliot quote, especially these two lines: “The cycles of Heaven in twenty centuries
    Bring us farther from God and nearer to the Dust.”

    I’m just sad to see a western nation like Canada has to hide something that’s so ingrained in western civilization, while countries in other parts of the world, like Asia e.g., celebrate Easter, or Christmas unabashedly. The Chinese translation of the word Christmas is literally “Holy Birth Festival”, and Easter, “Resurrection Festival”.

    Arti

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  3. Enjoyed this, full of truths and ambiguities.

    We must be brave to be happy and say why.

    I love Easter, the real Easter and the “silly” one, too, that smacks of Spring.

    oh,

    I’ve nothing against silliness, spring, or the symbolic rendition of rebirth… as long as they don’t replace the ‘real’ thing and mask the origin and its significance. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your view.

    Arti

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  4. Arti,

    I could be so far out on a limb here I’ll tumble off before your eyes, but I really have begun to think our culture finds Easter – and Christianity in general – offensive because we prefer immortality to death and resurrection. The scandal isn’t Jesus being raised from the dead, the scandal is that he died.

    One of the best paradigms I know for looking at life is longings and limits. We’re in a time now when no one wants to be limited in any way – just look at our bankers and politicians, for goodness’ sake – and yet death is the ultimate limit. If you deny death by positing immortality, there’s no need for resurrection.

    And to veer into the completely practical for just a moment, I’m coming to know more and more people who say, “I want to write (paint, draw, compose, read…)but I just don’t have the time.” And yet, when you talk a bit more, you find they do have time for bridge club, the fitness club, a rich social life, volunteer commitments, shopping, television and so on and so on. In other words, they may long to do this or that, but aren’t willing to limit themselves in order to accomplish something.

    It might not even be totally crazy to say that God longed so deeply for human salvation he was willing to limit himself for our sake. Hmmmm….

    Well, that’s way too much thought for this hour. But when I saw your post I really wanted to respond. I’m going to try to get back to the Savages tomorrow.

    A blessed Easter to you!

    Linda,

    No, it’s not crazy to delve into the idea that the infinite is being confined into human form, restricted by the body, the holy substituting for the sinful, and ultimately, the eternal dying a humiliating death. Thanks for bringing out the perspective that, yes, maybe it’s the hubris of man that makes it so hard to comprehend the concept of dying to redeem. Your comment reminds me of the words “… unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many…”

    Thanks for sharing your personal insights into the essence of Easter.

    Arti

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  5. Arti, I want to thank you for this post. I think posts like this are brave. Recently, at one of the forums that I regularly visit, there was an online discussion about spiritual belief (the bus campaign about there probably being no god was also mentioned there). That online discussion went on and on and on, and seemingly well-prepared intellectual arguments against religion and spiritual belief overwhelmingly and arrogantly crushed the believers’ arguments, and that arrogance made me mad. A summary would be: If you’re a believer then you must be stupid. Of course, the fact that a discussion about such a complex and broad subject was taking place ONLINE and ANONYMOUSLY did not make anyone think that the quality of the resulting discussion would be suspect.

    Oh dear, that turned out to be a rant, didn’t it? Anyway, it was good to read your Easter post. Hah! It was snarky too!

    onlyanovel,

    I can understand your sentiments when you see people who think they can, by some online chat or discussion forum, dislodge the collective scholarship, philosophical ponderings, insights, wisdom, and experiences accumulated throughout the centuries, toppling Augustine, Pascal, Calvin, Kierkegaard, Barth, Bonhoeffer, Nouwen, Lewis… just to name a few thinkers and doers of faith. As for political correctness, this has been my observation in recent years. As a Canadian of Chinese ethnicity, and a Christian, I’ve found that my ethnic heritage is celebrated more legitimately than my faith in this society. The slogan on the bus as I mentioned in my post has some inherent faulty logic. In this day of economic disintegration, where the invisible hand of capitalism driven by human greed fails to offer much hope for humanity, maybe it is time for us to ponder some essential issues that we as individuals and as a collective have to face, the sooner the better.

    I’ve appreciated your sharing your personal response. Have a meaningful Easter!

    Arti

    Like

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