Easter again. The problem of historicity of Jesus' Resurrection is encountered again. Here are some excerpts from sermons and articles in the latest issue (April 2010) of UU CLF's newsletter Quest. In my opinion, of all historically Christian churches in the world, only the post-Christian church UU fully respects atheists and disbelievers of resurrection!
But some of you are thinking—there she goes again, using that word God, and I don't believe in God. If you are feeling that way, I think you'll be more comfortable if you understand that when I use the word God, I have absolutely no idea what I'm talking about. For me, God is a word for the Mystery in which we exist...
Whether you are a UU Christian, Jew, Buddhist, agnostic, or hard-core atheist, I'd like to invite you to join me as we talk about the Easter story, a story that has meaning for every one of us.
The resurrected Jesus tells his disciples that they have a mission—"As my Father has sent me, so send I you." They are to witness to the power of love, to let people know of a love that is more lasting than any earthly kingdom, that is more powerful even than death. They are frightened, and they feel grossly ill-prepared, but there is something about this risen Jesus that has changed them, that has given them strength and purpose and a kind of clarity that they never had before. They are not naïve—they know the dangers they will face, but they know why they are living, and they are willing to die that others might know the power of this love and might be delivered from bondage—the bondage of the flesh, the bondage of desire, the bondage of ego.
So what is the real miracle here? Somebody coming back from the dead? I don't think so--the real miracle is what happened to the disciples. They were delivered from their preoccupation with self, from their egotistical plans, and gave themselves to Love.
I don't need a corpse rising from the dead to believe in the miracle of Easter. I see lives changing—I see it all the time. I see love doing absolutely amazing things. It comes about, I think, through both intentionality and grace—it comes when we are willing, and when we enter into a partnership with the Holy, and we say, "I just want to do some good in this world, to be some good in this world." Intentionality on our part, and grace from the universe, freely given. Jesus came not to do magic tricks and have us worship him as God--he came to show us that we are of God—and that therefore these miracles of love are possible in our own lives.
---Marilyn Sewell in Why Easter?
Easter is the time of year when all nature responds, and people, as children of nature, cannot but do likewise. Who or what can stop the trees and shrubs from budding, the birds from singing, the beehive from awakening, and the animals from mating? And humans, endowed with at least five senses and with the intelligence to appreciate them, must react to the vernal resurrection of Nature.
---Munroe Husbands in There Will Always Be an Easter
I am my father's daughter—all our arguments and misunderstandings notwithstanding, that is who I am. And, though he is dead, he lives on in me—in my memory and in my gestures, in the things with which I struggle, in my collections of small wonders, and in my enjoyment of poetry and music, even in my voice, this aging soprano sweetness that his tenor genes, combined with my mother’s alto genes, passed on to me.
If this is not resurrection, I do not know what is. Bodies do not survive death. If minds and souls do, I do not know where they gather. But I know that love is stronger than the grave. It survives, and it abides, and all the dead rise again and again in us, giving themselves to us for as long as we will receive them. Happy Easter—may it arrive, and you know it truly.
---Barbara Pescan in Resurrections
Alex from UUHK