I started the day with an 8-mile slow run through the Spring countryside with turned fields and blossoms galore. The local apple orchard presented its annual plethora of yellow daffodils that line the streets like a crowd waiting for an Easter parade. Clumps of forsythia scattered throughout the farm added to the sea of bright yellow happiness. The scents of hyacinths and magnolias perfumed the air, and redbuds and pear blossoms displayed a delicate show of fragile blooms against the greening grass and still barren woods.
Spring has sprung.
The run felt great, and I did my best to hold my legs back from charging ahead with all the pent-up energy from my recent taper weeks. Life is good. I am happy.
I thought about Easter as I passed car after car of people on their way to churches and the homes of family and friends. What do I think? At this stage of the game, it’s mostly about pastel colors and chocolate – it’s a harbinger of Spring. While I embrace the sacred songs and practices of my youth, I no longer celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of an ancient teacher. Instead, I celebrate the lessons he taught, and by his own admission the greatest of them was about Loving.
It’s surprising and unsettling to me that we’ve made such a business of glorifying a man’s death on a cross. But then to tout it as some sacrifice he made for me to atone for all my sins really just leaves me shaking my head. He died because some men killed him. He didn’t have superpowers. He was a man – just a man. He was the son of god as I am the daughter of god.
I believe the body is important as we live out our lives on Earth. How else would we carry around our souls? But more than a simple vessel, our bodies are made of Life and Love itself. Our cells carry the history of those before us and the future mappings of those we help create. Everything we touch, smell, taste, see, and hear affects us and can either assist our spiritual growth or stunt it. Our bodies give us feedback – every single day. Sometimes, when we don’t listen, they scream at us.
How could the punishment and torture of another person’s body forgive my wrongs and save my life? No. It was his life, not his death that changed me. It was all the stories where he tried to teach the stupid people how stupid they were, but they just kept being stupid. That’s what changed my life. He was really very clear, but no one was ready to hear what he had to say. And most people today still don’t hear it – they miss the point completely and sing songs about his death – celebrate his death – and wear symbols of his death around their necks like some lucky charm that will protect them from harm. They pretend to eat his body and drink his blood. They give up something they love for 40 days as some offering of their religious piety. It disturbs me. I don’t think Jesus would give a shit about eating meat on Fridays during Lent.
It seems no different from the crazy rituals of ancient civilizations like the Vikings.
Jesus taught us to Love. He said nothing of sacrifice.
Just Love. Love is everything. If anything is going to rise again, let it be Love.