Note: Thirteen years ago, both Easter and Passover fell much earlier in the year than they do this year, so this entry is actually out of sequence. -D.
I went home for Easter again this year.
I had a great time, actually. My siblings both came home, too, and my brother brought his wife and the baby. My nephew is too young for an egg hunt yet, but we all had an egg hunt with each other, just like last year--we did two hunts, so we could take turns hiding and finding. And, just like last year, I arranged for humanely raised ham--I got eggs from free-range hens, too. And I helped look after my nephew and did all the dishes--guys in my family don't usually do things like that, and both my parents remain thrilled that I've broken the trend.
I also spent some time telling my family more about school--what we do for Easter on campus (not much, though there is a small non-denominational service) and what Ostar is all about. They liked the idea of Charlie's egg hunt, so we all went outside to look for nests for about an hour, but we didn't find any. If my Dad worried about me losing my faith, he didn't say anything.
And yet, I think I am continuing to do exactly that--lose the faith I had when I was younger, while gaining something else.
At church today I once again found the service anemic. Once again, everyone seemed to be trying to sing quieter than the next person, and once again the sermon was about the Resurrection and Christ's triumph over death, and while I'm not sure that I disbelieve in those things, I also don't think they are very important anymore.
That looks so strange, to have written it--the Resurrection not important? It's supposed to be the single most important thing in Christianity, the central miracle, the best and most relevant of the Good News. But honestly I don't think that way now. Everything dies, and if nothing did, there could be no recycling of matter through an ecosystem--that's the kind of resurrection I'm interested in. I guess at least some of what Charlie's been talking about has stuck, although I don't think communicating cosmology has ever been his intent. Anyway, if no one died, than no one could be born, either, and there would be no more babies. I was thinking about that, while I was quietly playing with my nephew in church today. Babies are good. I think the world should have babies in it. That is a cause I'm willing to die for, though I'd rather not do it any time soon.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that if I have faith in anything, it is the principle that life is good. Death is a part of life, so how could death really be bad?
What interests me about Jesus...there is his remarkableness as a person, of course. I admire his physical and moral courage as well as his kindness, his radical generosity, and his willingness to say things other people don't want to hear. Frankly, I don't do very well at that one. I wish I were a little more like him in that respect.
But what really gets me at the moment is the idea of Jesus-as-invisible-friend. That was the first way I understood him, and I'm still fond of it. Like that song, which I currently have stuck in my head-- "you ask me how I know he lives? He lives within my heart."
I guess my understanding of Easter is still a lot like it was when I was five--candy and Easter eggs and a nice man named Jesus.
I didn't go to a Seder this year, though I kind of wanted to--the scheduling just didn't work out, for various reasons. But I've been thinking about that, too. I like the idea of a meal as both a sacred practice and a teaching method. I like the idea of celebrating a major holiday in the company of children, and children--or, at least the youngest people present--having a definite role. There's a wholeness there that I like.
I can't experience a Seder the way I can experience a Christian service, as something I can really get inside with the child in me, but I like the thought that people can. I think, maybe, the more different kinds of rituals a kid can experience, the better.