And Grace….

When I attended Sunday School briefly as a child, I remember reading about the Resurrection in a paper booklet and studying an illustration of Christ standing in a white robe beside a boulder, his clean hands outstretched to a gape-mouthed Mary, his hair neatly brushed. What the heck was that about?

The presentation was like reading Macbeth on Disney character flash cards. How would this be possible? Why would it even be desirable?

Hallmark’s proliferation of bunnies and tulips to the contrary, this holiday is a mystery, bloody and ethereal within a span of days, a profoundly condensed version of human life.

More than anything else what I resent about that sanitized illustration is the belying that the crucifixion is also the story of nearly unbelievable persistence, of a man who endured physical torture, an extreme crisis of faith, and phenomenal resilience against the human tendency to flee when the going gets tough. Over and over, I’ve met that Joseph Campbell line “you must be wiling to give up the life you’ve planned in order to have the life that is waiting for you.” On this Easter morning, I’m reminded again that the price of grace is fiercely earned, and, yet, eternally possible.

…modern people have seen too many chemicals and are ready to go back to eating dirt.

– Mark Kurlansky, Salt: A World History


library book reading…

3 thoughts on “And Grace….

  1. Much as I may want to, the story of a dead man rising from the grave and washing away sin always lacked verisimilitude in my mind. For a long time this drove me away from church. I also don’t particularly fear death, so the whole getting to live again held little joy for me either. But there is another story, the story of a person who said “love thy neighbor as thyself” and a system. That nailed him to a cross, well that I can believe. With age has come the realization that an idea can leave one person and live on in others, and that maybe that idea of loving others was worth dying for, because in dying for the idea it gained traction, became immortal. So now I celebrate the immortal idea of love in all forms, the rebirth of the concept that loving thy neighbor is the highest commandment, and the hope someday that as Gandhi implied, that Christians will here the words instead of merely repeating them.

  2. A lot of modern Christians seem to think it is. Whether it was the intent, it’s become the main focus. I am more interested in what he said than the miracles attributed to him by others.

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