Interdependent Web: Making sense of Easter

Interdependent Web: Making sense of Easter

A weekly roundup of blogs and other user-generated web content about Unitarian Universalism.


Making sense of Easter

The Rev. Dan Schatz acknowledges that “Easter was a challenge this year.”

[Looking] out at the world, the difficulties are obvious and hope has seemed especially hard to find. . . . [We] continue on regardless, just as people did two thousand years ago, and just as people everywhere have always done. Sometimes, the work that needs doing outweighs the grief, and sometimes in the process of doing it despite it all we start to realize that the beauty and joy still in the world are just as real as any hardship and suffering. We find hope and renewal by becoming it. (The Song and the Sigh, March 28)

Liz James writes that the “truth” of Easter is something that cannot be Googled.

I do not believe that every ending is a beginning because of some divine plan. The truth of it is much more mundane than that. Every ending is a beginning because the story continues, and we find ways to continue along with it. Defeat is like this. It must be digested. It transforms over time. First an experience, then a memory, then a story. We connect it with other experiences. We find a deeper truth. We weave it into a larger history. (Rebel with a Labelmaker, March 27)

The Rev. Jude Geiger connects the Easter story to recent developments in North Carolina.

Late in the night, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene heard the news coming from North Carolina. Late in the night, a sweeping anti-LGBT bill overturned local ordinances protecting gay and transgender people.

So she ran and went to the disciples, the ones whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken Justice out of the court, and we do not know where they have laid it.” (Facebook, March 27)

On a lighter note, the Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein shares a glimpse of the chaos of Easter morning for ministers. (Beauty Tips for Ministers, March 28)

Breaking bread together

For the Rev. Peter Boullata, the Risen Christ is made known in the breaking of bread—and particularly in feasts like those created by the activist group Food Not Bombs.

It seemed to me that if the spirit of Jesus was alive anywhere, it was here. And I don’t mean in the individual face of a homeless person, and I don’t mean in the face of a young idealist. I mean the whole gesture of turning garbage into a feast, redeeming leftovers, of freely offering a table full of food to strangers, the Bay Street business man sharing a meal with a street-involved youth with a mental illness, the rough poor from the underbelly of another empire knowing where to go for food, people of disparate backgrounds rubbing elbows at a shared meal.

For me, the living Christ is not an individual, the living Christ is a feast, a table where mercies are spread, a community, a common wealth. The living Christ is a symbol of our common life shaping a world of mutuality and trust and love, a symbol of what sustains and nurtures life. (Held in the Light, March 27)

The Rev. James Ford also reflects on the meaning of the Christian sacrament of communion.

It’s a human thing, to eat and notice the holy.

And for me the secret sauce is our human memory. . . . We recall the meals of our lives. We recall, perhaps, when we didn’t eat. We recall the joys and the sorrows at those, hopefully many meals we have eaten.

They are all captured, past, and present, and future, in a few minutes of shared time and food and drink.

And, this is important, company. . . . This meal is meant to be shared. Here our sacred individuality and the reality of our interdependence is fully presented.

All we need is to join with others, share food and drink, and recall. To do this is to open our minds and our hearts, and be present to what is. (Monkey Mind, March 31)

And more

Adam Gonnerman objects to the recent reconciliation between the UUA and the Boy Scouts of America.

One of the weird ‘benefits’ to me as an atheist of attending a UU congregation is that I get the token respectability of being a church-goer. . . . Is this a cheat? Maybe…but I don’t think so.

What I do think is a lie and a cheat is the UUA trying to make honorary theists of its atheist, agnostic and Humanist members and clergy, grandfathering us into an agreement with the BSA under a don’t-ask-don’t-tell arrangement that would never be considered acceptable for LGBTQ people or anyone else. I’m not ashamed of who I am, and I don’t want the church I’m associated with to be ashamed of me. (Adam Gonnerman, March 29)

Jordinn Nelson Long shares her family’s experience of waiting to find out where her first ministry call may be.

These are strange days. A bit fraught. A bit magical. The lobster holds court with the western meadowlark, and cathedral spires rise with the peal of bells over our beloved prairie.

And everywhere around us, the larger country of the unknown; the place in which a map is always yearned for, and for which none shall ever be created. (Raising Faith, March 28)

The Rev. Catharine Clarenbach is practicing a new form of self-care.

[Loved] and cherished toddlers often receive nurturing routine, wonderful play, acknowledgment of limits, and plenty of other things from the adults who love them.

I am working on a month-long self-care regime. My beautiful and brilliant sweetie frequently talks about how self-care routines often work best when we treat ourselves like cherished toddlers. The more of this conscious self-care stuff I have been doing, the more I think she’s right. (The Way of the River, March 28)