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Sunday, March 27, 2005

Easter Sunday Post ~ He is Risen

Since I started this blog, my Sunday posts have been minimalist. Just a photo, a scripture reference, and a wish-you-well. But today is Easter. The day that changes everything. So, while I don't have a sermon, I do have some reflections, some things I'm thinking about today.

Many years ago, just before we left work on a Good Friday, a Jewish friend and co-worker came to my desk, sat down next to me and said, "Happy Easter."

"Thanks, Ellen," I said, sincerely.

"No, I really mean it," she said, looking me in the eye and putting a hand on my arm.

"OK...I knew you meant it...what's up?"

She explained, "I know your faith is important to you, but I never realized, until this week, because I'm dating this Christian guy, I never realized what Easter really means. I always thought Christmas was the big deal to you guys. But now I realize, for you, it's all about Easter. Without Easter, you don't even have a religion."

I had never pared it down to that basic level, but my Jewish friend was right. The Resurrection, for those who choose to believe, is what tells us that Jesus was who He said He was, is who He says He is. And it's what tells us that God made a way for us to get home.

I recently heard an African-American pastor describing God's willingness to enter "our" world in the person of Jesus. He said, "Our God loved us enough to come see about us." I realize that theologically, a lot more happened than that. But that sentiment, perhaps borrowed from Diana Ross and the Supremes, really resonates for me. I'm so grateful when someone cares enough to come see about me. To come to me. Where I am.

There's a song by Chris Rice that talks about what Jesus did. Part of the refrain is, "Sometimes love has to drive a nail into its own hand." That violent, gruesome image disturbed me at first. But the more I listened, the more I knew the truth in that lyric. Not just for Jesus, but for all of us. Sometimes love means you do the painful, you do the frightening, you do the impossible. Like responding kindly to a colicky baby in the 10th hour of nonstop crying. Like giving birth. Like moving across the country because the one you love is following a dream that takes you both there. Lots of ways love drives a nail into its own hand. I'd like to share the song with you. It talks about "the way we used to be." I'm not entirely sure we were ever much better than we are now; but just a few minutes of the evening news confirms for me that we're now pretty much a mess.

Sometimes Love, by Chris Rice

Is our world spinning backwards?
What has brought about this change?
Can't you see that people aren't the same?

I wish I were dreamin'
and could wake up from this sleep,
and find us all the way we used to be

'Cause the love that used to be is dyin'
Is anybody even tryin'?
And I don't know how, I don't know why
But somethin' in my soul is cryin' (listen...)

Sometimes love has to drive a nail into its own hand

One pair of hands broke some bread and washed some feet
Opened eyes and soothed an angry sea
Belonged to a man who could see our deepest needs,
And showed us love the way it has to be

'Cause he knew the price that love requires
And he laid down his own desires
He stretched out his hands to save his friends
He said no other love is higher

Sometimes love has to drive a nail into its own hand

Love can change us, love can make a way
Only love can change us, love can make a way

Wandering around blogworld this week, a lot of people are talking about Easter and its traditions. I read blogs of Christians, Jews, agnostics, probably an atheist or two, and perhaps other religions which weren't identified in the posts that I read. And I know a variety of people visit me here. If you are celebrating the Resurrection today, you're pretty much already in party mode. It's a life-changing, world-changing day for you. And if you're not celebrating the Resurrection, if you believe and think differently than I about this day, I especially want to say to you, I'm glad you're visiting, I'm thankful you've read this far. And even without the beliefs that accompany Easter, may you know the spirit of Easter -- love that comes to see about you; forgiveness that doesn't keep a record of your wrongs; a fresh start, a new beginning every morning; and a way to get home. Peace to you.

He is risen, indeed.

file under: &Sunday Post

17 heads are better than one . . .

Blogger LadyBug said...

God bless you and yours on this holiest of days, Susie.

He is risen, indeed!

Blogger Susie said...

ladybug, right backatcha.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow. That is a beautiful post. Very touching. It was a good choice to do some reading this morning.
Thank you.

He is risen, indeed.
God bless you and your family.



Anonymous mrtl said...

Happy Easter, Susie, from one of your agnostic-at-best friends.

Blogger Susie said...

lawbrat, thanks, and good to see you as always. Hope your day goes beautifully.

mrtl, thank you for that, you disturbed agnostic-at-best. I love to see you here, too:) Eat more candy; that will help with the disturbance.

Blogger Greenthumb said...

Somewhere inside me still resides a Christian, however, I'm at odds so much with how I feel about organized theology.

Irregardless, I wish you and your's a most joyous holiday of new beginnings and the promise of a new beginning.

Blogger Susie said...

I know, greenie. I wish Harlow and the Boyz a joyous holiday, too, and I hope you win the egg-hunt!

Blogger dashababy said...

Thank you for that beautiful post.
I was hoping to find a good word from someone. (and this is my first visit too.)
Thanks again and Happy Easter!!

Blogger Andrea said...

Susie, thanks for that encouraging word.

You are so right...He is risen indeed! (They didn't do that at the church I went tothis morning, so I'm glad for a chance to say it!)

Anonymous kalki said...

Susie, I admire you for being so strong in your own faith and yet also accepting of the fact that many do not share your beliefs. Your respect for everyone is one of the things I appreciate most about you.

Blogger Susie said...

dashababy, thank you so much for visiting and for your kind comments. I enjoyed your Easter post, too. Come and visit again:)

andrea, Happy Easter. I really like that tradition (He is risen, indeed); at my church our seminary intern slipped in the He is risen, and I was one of the few people who responded, thinking, "hey, I just blogged that!" Glad you got to say it here:)

hey, kalki, thank you so much for that; your admiration is meaningful to me. The way I see it, if I'm trying to be like Jesus, that's what I am called to do -- accept and love people as they are. I'll let God work out the rest. I realize not all professing Christians see it this way; but I gotta be me;)

Blogger mrtl said...

Susie, if all religions held to that belief and acted upon it, I'd be on board. (If God made us in His image, doesn't that imply this?) You are a wonderful role model.

Blogger Nettie said...

Hey, I found you again! Beautiful post and I agree- God Bless!

Blogger Susie said...

mrtl, you are too kind, and I don't deserve your compliment, by a long shot. I think we get in trouble when we listen too much to the humans that insert themselves between us and God. If we go right to the Source, I think we can usually work things out with God. Humans are wrong a lot (duh!), myself enthusiastically included.

thank you, nettie, and welcome back!

Blogger Effie said...


I just wanted to say thank you for such a beautiful Easter post (and I'm not just talking about the photos)!
Christ is Risen--He is Risen Indeed!!
love, a fellow blogger

Blogger butterstar said...

Hi, Susie, a late Happy Easter to you!

Your post was beautiful. That's one of the things I truly enjoy about you; you have a deep abiding fatih you share with the whole wide internet, while at the same time accept everyone and not trying to force anyone else to follow your lead. In my own opinion, this is what so many Christians fail to do (and one of the reasons I am no longer affiliated myself, besides the fact that living with an athiest for 10 years has rubbed off on me a little). If more Christians behaved like true Christians, I think there would be a lot less people who skedaddled out of whatever version they belonged to.

You ARE a role model. While I'm not so sure about the god of the bible myself, your interpretation is a blessing to the world. Rock on, sistah.

Blogger Susie said...

thank you, effie, for your visit and for your kindness:)

sistah butterstar, you give me way too much credit. I'm not a good enough actress to go anywhere, internet or otherwise, without my faith showing -- it's just me; I think you and I agree -- accepting and not trying to force is Christian. I realize many people don't agree with that, though. You seem to "get" me.


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