Are we Easter people?

As Holy week unfolds and life's challenges face us do we really understand what it was that Jesus faced?  He paraded into Jerusalem to shouts of praise and accolades.  He was on top of the world.  But something was amiss.  He understood that this could turn on a dime and, because we read the book, we know it does.  He is on top one day and the next, crucified for the same reason.  Crucified because he spoke the truth.   Have you lived through anything like this?  Have you been the chosen one at work, given a gold watch only to be downsized right out of a job?  Have you been the apple of someone's eye, only to be served with divorce papers?  Have you spoken up against injustice only to find your friends cross the street when they see you coming?  Are you an Easter person?  Do you realize that in order to stand for what is right, something has to die?

Jesus died that day a long time ago.  The gospels are each writer's account of what transpired after his death.  He was critical to the people as they picked up the pieces and moved on.  Some denied knowing him, some ran and locked themselves in a room, others simply went back to being oppressed by the Romans and their law.  People mourned his death because he was a great man.  But he was also divine.  He was the essence of God in the flesh.  He was the speaker of the house of God and love prevailed through him with passion.  When we talk about the passion of the Christ it is with it we can move mountains and stand forever.

Our world is a broken place.  A place where CBC radio repeats over and over how the Toronto mayor was ejected from a party for poor behaviour when the important news, how hundreds are hungry and homeless in that same city, is never mentioned.  Shootings of young men make headlines regularly while the mothers cry out in pain.  Jesus was the voice trying to bring people back to what is sacred.  Jesus is the voice reminding us of what we are to do.  Jesus may have died that day but he lives on in the hearts of all Christians and is calling for justice.  Stand in peace with our brothers and sisters; in faith and trust hold hands with Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Hindus, and all faithful because Jesus wants us to.  Be a Christian and welcome all faiths to your table.


The great and powerful................. OZ?

Last night I went to see the new 3D movie, OZ the Great and Powerful and was totally amazed at the overt and blatant biblical symbolism.  There is Pilot, Jesus, Satan, Jerusalem and, of course, God.  All with different names but the same story.  Good versus Evil and the people faithfully waiting for the saviour to come.  How many times can we re-invent the story before it gets tired?

I do not want to shatter anyone's vision of what it means to be faithful but until one is to dig into the understanding of our Christian history and look at it with new and refreshed eyes it has no substance.  The bible, a human construction, is a story of people who encounter God and most live to tell about it.  Some don't, so others tell their story.  We are a people who is living in the wake of these writings.  Empire has changed over the millennial years but is still present. We still face the war between good and evil while some are crucified and others choose to live on the dark side.  Mythology is the way we can learn from the past in a colourful way.

As I struggle in between the Christian world, where I still claim to be a follower of Jesus the Christ, and his work 2000 years ago and the humanist perspective it is with faith I watch for good in my life.  A Faith which lends itself to my thinking there is more to what I can see.  Faith that the universe was not created by accident but a divine plan of which I cannot begin to understand or put into words.  A divine plan that is not a direct link to me but a divine plan that asks me to be in relationship with the world.

It would be easy to take the bible literally and simply believe what I am told to believe but I want more from my faith journey.  I am asking the hard questions and find what I call God all around me alive and well.  As I face yet another crossroads in my life it is with confidence I step out knowing something is there guiding, beckoning and welcoming my inquisitive nature.

Come with me, on your own journey.  Go out and find your faith and you will live more fully and love with intensity.