| ANNE WILLIAMSON |
It's a big week in the Christian tradition: Holy Week, Easter. And, I'll be honest: I don't know what to do about it. The story, and thus its commemorative days, is deeply meaningful to me; yet, I have little desire to attend church. I want my daughter - and myself - to experience traditions beyond bunnies and eggs; yet, I don't yet know what to incorporate or create.
I've been rereading the book of Mark over the last few weeks, and it strikes me that Jesus too was celebrating holy days at this time: Passover. Of course, his circumstances were unique. And yet, amid the extraordinary, I also read a deeply ordinary struggle: how to remember an old story in ways that feel honest and connecting, personally. For Jesus, given his obvious disdain for the practice, we can assume temple sacrifices went off his list (Mark 11.15-19). He also seems to have taken a traditional meal, the Passover Seder, and infused it with new meaning for himself and his disciples, what became The Lord's Supper (Mark 14.22-24).
Since that time, many new (Christian) traditions have arisen. We don't have to label each "good" or "bad" to discern whether a tradition is personally meaningful. What feels honest and connecting for you may not for your neighbor. Jesus' reimagining of his own traditions teaches that what matters most is to discern the story's point and live authentically from there. What would it look like for you, for me, to do the same? LISTEN, LEARN, LOVE...
you who are living,
restore us, renew us.
Speak for our silence.
Continue our work.
Bless the breath of life.
Sing of the hidden patterns.
Weave the web of peace.
-- Judith Anderson
(Printed in Life Prayers. Editors: Elizabeth Roberts & Elias Amidon.)
Let these words seep a moment. Be still. Listen. Maybe offer them again as a prayer. Keep listening. Then...
Take a moment to think about Jesus' story, however much or little you remember. What do you think is the point? Have questions come to mind? Write them down.
Keep remembering... Keep wondering... Keep listening...
Now, do something with what's stirring. Take an authentic step forward. Maybe ask your questions. Speak your truth.
For me, this Easter, what has emerged in writing this post are three things I'd like to do: I'm going to say something true, for me, about Jesus' story. I'm going to do something connecting. And, I'm going to create a moment of joy. I think the first I'll cover by sharing with my husband and daughter what Easter means to me. The second will be a family hike, where I'll strive to be fully present and open. The third, watching my daughter find Easter eggs; we already did this once, last weekend, and her excitement and determination are infectious.
May you find your own way this Easter.