Thursday, March 24, 2016

EASTER, 2016

    Easter stunned and amazed Jesus' first followers.  It took a while for them to realize what had happened.  Then they saw.  Jesus was the living Christ!  And they set out to proclaim this Good News and change the world.

   They began by taking Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection to themselves.  In Christ we can overcome our own crucifixions and rise to a new level of life.  While living here within our everyday world, we can be citizens of the People of God living in the Kingdom of God on Earth, that Jesus prayed for.  We could live in a world of Christ's Grace, which is given in loving abundance.  We could live in justice, peace, joy, hope and love, in a world that is the pregnant beginning of our life in eternity.  The Easter proclamation still stuns the world and will do so until the world ends. 

   This year, the Good News of Easter once again brings forth the majesty and glory of ever dawning new life in Christ.  Sadly not everyone sees it.  Blindness still abounds.  I am not referring to our brothers and sisters of other faith traditions.  While we of course prefer our own faith tradition, we see them as participating in God's life and grace in their own way.  

   First of all, I am referring to many members of the scientific community.  There are many historic reasons for their blindness, including the stubbornness of our church leaders to catch up to the times.

   More particularly I believe that the over-specialization of our educational system is very much to blame.  Very many of today's scientists are formed and work in a world in which God is automatically excluded from the very beginning of all research.  They are taught to think in a dark world in which science explains itself.  "God does not exist.  Science is science. We do our scientific work discovering how the universe works.  Therefore, God does not exist."

   Now, we all suffer from one kind of blindness or another.  We all carry our Cross.  But the self-inflicted blindness of today's science is not a crucifixion leading to new life.  It is a version of Hell from which there is no way out.

   This Easter we mourn that politics is more than ever operating in its own blind world.  Here at home we are watching demagogues lead their followers down the life-sapping path of ignorance, anger and hatred.  The policies of maximized profits and economic injustice, racism, sexism, and the isolation of some of our fellow Americans are being preached and shown daily on TV--all being cheered on by Americans who themselves are victims of this political form of Hell and are looking for the wrong savior.

   In Europe we mourn the Hell inflicted on innocent people by deluded young men in the name of their self-constructed false god.

   This Easter, in too many ways walls are being built where bridges of justice, peace and love should exist.  In too many ways, Hell is replacing the Crucifixion.  No Easter is in sight.

   Am I too pessimistic?  I have lived through very many Easters.  I have rarely seen one where we Americans were so badly and even hatefully divided.  And I wonder.  This year, perhaps we Christians are not stunned enough by Easter.  Are we not stunned enough to stir ourselves into deeper discernment and more prophetic action to bring more Easter life--to bring a lively, effective sense of oneness, joy, hope and love--to our fractured society?

   Christ is risen!  Alleluia!  Can we all rise up?