Thinking about Easter

April 18, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

How do you remember your childhood Easters for those of you who celebrate Easter? As a child, there was always a new outfit for me. It was the first few days of spring and we were buoyed up with the notion of resurrection and the first heads of growth in the garden. There were celebratory meals and small gifts.

Church of course, everyone went. Even if not normally, they went to church for Easter, for Christmas; Thanksgiving brought people out too. Though not a religious holiday as such, the church is regarded as a place for gratitude.

Some Christians say that really Easter is the most important of the holidays, more than even Christmas because Easter is the miracle of Christ’s resurrection, the proof of all he had said through his ministry about his own partial divinity and his victory over death. He commanded his followers to go out and preach the story of God’s love and His role in our lives – that believing in Him is the single passage to Heaven.

However one feels about this, there is certainly the evidence that truly believing in a higher power is good for us. Empirically and very often, people who have faith benefit from it in their approach to life and their own happiness.

Yes of course there are the phoneys and the fanatics. There the war mongers using “religion” as an excuse for brutality. Let’s put them aside for the moment and talk about the support of belief, the strength it gives and the reassurance of something more than a life that might be hard.

There is a great deal to wonder at in the stories about Jesus, the man who – more than anyone else – changed the world. As I understand him, he was about ending cruelty and war, about loving even your enemies – you can love your friends and those who admire you but what about loving those who revile and even wish to harm you – that is the test.

He was practical about sharing – if a man has two good coats and another man has none then that man with two should give one of them to the other.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

For me the real test of Jesus’ importance is that our calendar was reset at the point of his life – BC and AD. They have been changed from Before Christ and Anno Domini to before and into Common Era. Okay – different words, same timing. Just to cover sensitivities.

It is all about semantics. The reason our spiritual lives are hard to understand is because we need words to explain things and there are some aspects of our lives that can’t be explained with science and can’t be really understood with words. Maybe that is why there is prayer and meditation: muttered, private, quiet, reflective, searching within and without one’s own self. Both lead to a stillness that we do not otherwise indulge.

In that tiny moment of stillness comes the chance to feel. To go without words and simply be.

This is sought by everyone, really. To find that pool of calm within ourselves, maybe not to even have known it was there. Some souls spend their whole lives seeking it; others take snatches at it in their yoga, their running, their time in church.

As a species, we have ever been and believed many things. At the head are our inclination to violence, love and a determined notion that there is divinity – whether it is a celestial object, an imagined population of gods; a dependency, passionate love and fear of one god. 

From very early on, we have buried our dead with a view to their continued existence on another plane. We have planted or entombed them with tokens of their earthly lives to provide them for an afterlife.

Otherwise, we reduce their physical selves to ashes but we still maintain or hope there is more to each of us than blood and bones.

At one time and another I have read the four Gospels a couple of times, not enough to quote chapter and verse, to be sure. I like them for their feeling of time travel, so real do they sometimes seem to me. We have to acknowledge their fallibilities though. It seems they were written decades after Jesus’ crucifixion death and little enough is known but very much is debated. There comes a time when all the opinions cease to matter.

There are plenty of Roman scholars at the time of Jesus’ life who wrote about him and there is no need to doubt that he came and taught and died a cruel death. We can go ahead and believe that he rose again because miracles have happened and they still do, even in these cruel times.

What really matters is his message of taking care of each other and loving where love seems hard. To connect with our “inner selves” (my words) and find peace there and a place with no need for words.

Readers Comments (0)

Please note: Comment moderation is enabled and may delay your comment. There is no need to resubmit your comment.