(To those that celebrate it, especially beyond the eggs and candy.) Someone asked an entertainer last night that I went to see what he was going to do on Resurrection Sunday. I’m thinking this had to be a setup, right? The entertainer was Jewish. He said all he knew was that Jesus was crucified and rose from the dead.
Do we really know that? Or was his victory over death the act of choosing to do what he believed he had to do, knowing it would lead him to death? How often do we remain silent, unmoving, or turn away, thinking or knowing that if we act, it will result in our own death?
I listened to discussion on the radio last night about one of the current hot topics, gun control. One woman, who had been shot as a teenager, said it didn’t change her outlook on the subject – she still supported owning guns. She said something like, without guns being available, the shooter would still have gotten one.
An earlier report, several days before, shed the most light on this subject. The study’s author found that the majority of gun-related deaths, almost two thirds, were from self-inflicted wounds. Suicide. So while we dance around the elephant in the room, addressing the more horrific incidents of violence, the current dialogue does nothing for the greatest number. Seems to me kind of an opposite use of the Pareto Principle, the 80-20 rule.
But as is usually the case with these topics, my thoughts turn to Jesus and how he modeled life. What would he have done? I think it’s cliche to say he would abhor them, even if I cite the passage about those who use the sword. Instead, I look at how he cherished life. All life; but especially the downtrodden, the ignored, the shamed. It comes down to values. Do you value life? Do you value life so highly that in addition to taking care of yourself, to protecting animals, to protecting the unborn, to caring for the sick, you wouldn’t think to kill another human being?
Is life that precious to you? Or is it only your own?
Difficult to understand that it requires the final step to realize this, but that is the ultimate redemptive step. My reflection for today is here.
It’s a step people take every day, but you don’t hear about it. Although lately I’ve realized that today’s youth are much more connected to tragedy and triumph around the world than we were when I was growing up. It’s both a blessing and a weight.
I’ve watched the positive side as the chorus of voices has brought justice and change to discouraging situations. It engages people in a far more personal way than all their ‘friends’ in cyberspace can.
Jesus gave his life for what he believed in. Every day someone does the same. Every day, others run from it, as Judas depicts. The price of passion.
I was telling someone today, your life is like a bank account. You come into this world with a zero balance, and you check out the same. And your life is a series of deposits and withdrawals, but in the end, it always balances to zero. You can share your joy in the God spirit with others, or you can hoard it. Only one way multiplies it beyond measure.
It is a time to rejoice!
He was such a quiet person.
It’s easy to spout peaceful platitudes when everything is going fine and everyone is treating you well. But when someone speeds up from behind and keeps you from merging onto the highway, and then another honks and cuts in front of you because you’re only doing the speed limit, do you feel the anger and resentment rising? Are you tempted to flip the bird? Honk? Memorize a license plate and – do what?
I wonder how his closest friends felt when Jesus was taken down from the cross. When they went home after he was buried, what was their emptiness like? Were they filled with despair? Did they feel their entire lives pressing down on them?
What did they do?
If someone you believed in deeply, patterned your life after, and given up everything for, suddenly moved on, what would you do?
Just like in classic story structure, all seems lost right before the end.
Yet, at the darkest hour, we are given the greatest opportunity. Do we take it? Or do we cower and shy away from it, responding in reactive form?
And in other parts of the world, life went on as usual. Jesus gave his up for what he believed in.
Would you be willing to do the same?