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The Point Is...?


CopperPhoenix

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Skye here. I'm one of Copper's Insiders. We all know I know the rules. On to the blog.

**This post talks about religion. **

Lent. One of my least-favorite times of year.

It's hard to be a Christian in this system. While everybody's personal faith practices more or less work together (Along with me and a few other Christians, we've got at least one who identifies as a Wiccan, two Native American shamans, and a really outspoken atheist/humanist) it's a delicate balance.

And this time of year makes it really hard. Easter is one of the High Holy days in Christianity. We celebrate Jesus being crucified, dying, and rising again. That in and of itself is not out of place in our odd internal pantheon. Many religions hold a celebration in the spring to celebrate death and rebirth, the world coming alive again after a long, cold winter.

My problem is, as it always is, with other Christians.

Even at my most annoying, I never was one to knock on doors proclaiming the "good news". And I find the idea of glorifying a slow execution (which is what crucifying is) to be distasteful at best, and hopelessly gory at worst. I refused to watch Mel Gibson's Passion of the Christ; even the previews turned my stomach. So many people seem to think there is glory in focusing on the death aspect of the spring celebrations. No thank you!

My other issue is a practical one, an issue born of dollars.

I'm a preacher's kid. I know full well that a good turnout on Easter Sunday can make or break a church's budget for the whole year. I am no stranger to being trotted around in a party dress and bonnet, ordered to be charming and adorable. My Dad would start spazzing before Mardi Gras about how badly we needed a full church on Easter. The 40 days of Lent were not fun while he spazzed about money and church attendance.

The message kept getting lost.

Here's the way I see it. Easter is a season to see that the absolute worst possible thing can happen...and we still can rise above it. Whatever anybody may believe about Jesus or any other Great Teacher, the point of this whole Lenten season is that even when everything is as bad as it possibly can get, somehow the tides always turn.

I...this body...has survived some of the worst things one human being can do to another. Beaten, burned, bound...things I will not write out here because I don't wanna trigger myself...we have survived.

Isn't that the the whole point of Easter? The absolute worst thing (to the Disciples and other followers of Jesus, anyhow) happened. Their Rabbi, their Teacher, the one they lauded as the Son of God was killed.

But he came back.

He came back. Nobody had any reason to believe He would or could...but He did.

Just like the single stubborn daffodil in my neighbor's yard, against all odds, beyond all expectations, life returned. And there is the whole point. No matter how dark, cold, barren, hateful, hate-filled the moment, somehow spring always comes. That daffodil comes back.

The grave is empty. The Bad People are left looking stupidly at each other, as the one they tried to stomp down and shut up laughs from the sunshine.

Easter is not about fancy dresses or candy eggs or improbably large rabbits. Nor is it about getting butts into pews or dollars into the offering plate. Those things are nice, but they are not the point. Neither is the brutal murder of a wise and gentle teacher.

The point is that spring always comes.

The excessive religiosity of the Lenten season annoys me, and triggers the crap out of most of my System. That's okay. Because even in the darkest moments, we all can hold on to that one blazing fact:

Spring always comes.

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I always think of Lent as a time to reevaluate, take stock, etc. Kind of like a Christianity's answer to New Years Resolution.

I don't particularly enjoy the focus on the Passion, however I do find comfort in a God who has suffered as we do and understands that suffering. I also find comfort that His suffering wasn't for nothing. It was to redeem us all. His infinite forgiveness even in the face of a painful and shameful death. His protection and love for all of us.

I agree it shouldn't be a time of excessive religiosity. It should be a time of personal reflection and growth. Ended with the celebration of salvation and redemption.

Peace be with you.

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Skye, I belong to a non-denom church and we don't focus on the dollars but rather on pointing people to Jesus. I'm sorry that that was the experience you had growing up and I can see why it left bad memories.

T and I were just talking on Tuesday about my need to shelter the Littles from certain things and therefore I'm very careful about what I watch and hear. We talked about the fact that I have never seen Gibson's The Passion. I'm with you on that; I will never see it because I know that we would all be traumatized for life. I am just now to the point where I can take communion without dissociating and freaking out but it took years of therapy to get here. I like that fact that you focus on Christ's return which is the true point of this season; He came back. (my church calls it Resurrection Sunday).

I pray that you are able to have a good celebration and that other Christians don't ruin it for you.

Blessings,

Sass

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