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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

To all, Happy Easter on this beautiful cold, but sunny Sunday!

I'll be back with more tomorrow when I post on Tom Periello, candidate for the 5th CD.

But today is not a day for politics. It's a time to either enjoy a lovely day or, if you are religiously inclined, to contemplate the resurrection, renewal, and rebirth, themes that are common to many religious traditions.

For Christians, this is one of the most important holidays of the year. It began with the mournful foot washing of Maundy Thursday - Holy Thursday, if you are Catholic - and the sadness of Good Friday and it culminates with the celebration of triumph over death and evil on Easter Sunday. As Catholic priest Andrew Greely once observed, "Easter is the ultimate affirmation that evil does not trump good."

I don't believe you can get to Easter Sunday without going through the darkness of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. There can never be renewal without struggle. To believe otherwise is to cop cheap grace" as Christian martyr Dietrich Bonhoeffer termed it.

Bonhoeffer was a founder of the Confessing Church, which stood against Nazism, and he also took part in an assassination attempt against Adolph Hitler, for which he was executed.
During World War II, Bonhoeffer played a key leadership role in the Confessing Church, which opposed the anti-semitic policies of Adolf Hitler. He was among those who called for wider church resistance to Hitler's treatment of the Jews. While the Confessing Church was not large, it represented a major source of Christian opposition to the Nazi government in Germany.

After the unsuccessful July 20 Plot in 1944, Bonhoeffer's connections with the conspirators were discovered. He was moved to a series of prisons and concentration camps ending at Flossenb├╝rg.
He was no stranger to expensive grace, the kind that asks something of you and that demands sacrifice. Indeed, it was the grace of Jesus Christ, who died an excrutiating death to bring grace to humankind.

Indeed, for those who truly observe the rhythms of Holy Week, the joy of Easter Sunday is all the greater for having gone through the entire cycle of sacrifice, death and resurrection. To skip Maundy Thursday or Good Friday is to cheat oneself of the depth of emotion when one emerges on the other side of darkness and sorrow, which is Easter Sunday. For Christians, it has been marked by all night Easter vigil, among the most moving of services, or joyful sunrise services for many.

In that spirit, if you are a Christian, enjoy the true spirit and meaning of this day.

And if you are not, I'll be writing about the true meaning of Passover in April, when that holiday comes around.

Beyond this, I have respect for all faith traditions. Those two, however, are ones I'm closest too and can speak about with the most knowledge.

2 comments:

Ed said...

Happy Easter, Karen. We look forward to hearing more from you in the coming days and weeks.

silence dogood said...

"There can never be renewall without struggle."

Funny, you said this wasn't a day for politics, but that little kernel of wisdom is one of the greatest overlooked political truths of all.

A belated Happy Easter.