April 2017: Easter
In honour of Easter, I am going to step out of my safe zone and go into preacher mode—breaking two of my guidelines for writing this blog: avoid preaching and Scripture references. Have no fear, this won’t be a sermon or lecture you usually hear! I will surprise you by sharing what Easter has come to mean to me, something very near and dear to my heart.
Easter is an occasion to celebrate women’s liberation and human equality—honouring the Breath of Life and Divine Spark in each and every human being.
Having grown up in the “the Church,” Easter was the cornerstone holiday or feast-day of our Christian faith. It marked a turning point in human history. Unfortunately, too much focus is placed on symbols, metaphors, and “remembering” instead of continuing the action of turning the world upside down like Christ did.
We who claim to follow in Christ’s footsteps have failed to do just that. We have failed to advance liberty and equality for all humans. We have instead pursued hidden agendas and conditions or expectations that must be met in our “acts of service.” We tend to be intolerant and judgmental—at least in my personal experience and general observation. It seems we have come full circle or reverted back to the patriarchy and piety of the Jewish religious leaders—our ancestral “world order.”
On my faith journey, Easter has come to mean liberation and equality—which sorrowfully has become lost or buried again over the past two millennium. It saddens me greatly how far off-course we have wandered. Doctrine, dogma, and theological debate have overtaken living redeemed and liberated lives. We no longer fight for the causes Christ initiated: overcoming oppression, poverty, and injustice—fighting for the underdog. We are once again enslaved to tradition, piety, and cultural conditioning. We have lost being counter-cultural movers and shakers. We instead promote and strive for conformity.
Liberation and equality. We do not live like those are the cornerstones of our Christian faith. We, in fact, don’t live that much differently from our ancestors—other than in Western culture, brides are no longer purchased for land or livestock. This world has not changed much. I will be so bold as to say that an outside observer would not be able to tell Christ came at all—we have done that poorly at advancing the “new order” or way of life: upending patriarchy and liberating women, the oppressed, the downtrodden—pursuing human equality and mutual respect.
If I were to take two verses of Scripture (one from each Testament) that capture the essence of a life lived by faith, we have done poorly indeed. Here are the 2 verses to live by.
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28
“[God] has told you, O [person], what is good; And what does the LORD require of you? But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
If we respectfully treat each other as equals, pursue justice, uphold kindness, and live humbly (knowing we are but a speck in the grand scheme of things)—what a different world this would be. Yet we persist in being legalistic, judgmental, pious, and proprietary. And I am guilty of all of it, too. That is why Easter has taken on new meaning for me. I finally get it. Easter means redemption, liberation, and equality. I am no longer enslaved to indoctrination, cultural conditioning, and tradition. I can choose for myself.
I do not yet live in the utopian society of people living redeemed, respectful, and liberated lives with justice, kindness, and humility. But Easter reminds me to celebrate I am redeemed and liberated—that I can choose to live my life fully. And it is an opportunity to renew my sense of purpose towards being an agent of healing change—in whatever small or big ways that I can. Hence, I am grateful for what Christ did to end patriarchy and piety. For it allows me to embark on the Heroine’s Journey (next month’s blog).