Current Season: Easter

Easter is an incredible holiday. It combines roots from Jesus’ people, the Jews, and pagan rites of spring, reminding us of the interlaced history of different religions and cultures. Easter is a central holiday for Christianity because it reminds us that death is never the final word. That word is life, which is found in love. It is in love that life can never truly be undone. As spring always follows winter, we celebrate rebirth and new life. As the death of the paschal lambs saved the firstborn children of Israel, so the death of Jesus made it possible for his message of love to live on in the lives of those who loved and followed him.

Jesus was executed by Rome for treason. Pontius Pilate put “King of the Jews” in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin on Jesus’ cross as a blatant statement of what would happen if someone claimed to be a king without Rome’s permission. Jesus was willing to sacrifice his life for the truth of love that is both compassionate and resolute to make no peace with oppression. Not even a humiliating death as a traitor could stamp out Jesus’ message of what love looks like. Whether one believes in symbolic or literal resurrection, the story of rebirth out of death is undeniable in nature, and is demonstrated by fact that people follow the teachings of Jesus to this day.

Far too many acts of unspeakable evil have been committed in Jesus’ name, especially against his own people. This first century rabbi continues to call to us to recognize what it means to be committed to Divine Mystery and to one another in covenant. The people of Israel entered a covenant with God on Mt. Sinai with Moses that is eternal and continues to this day, celebrated in the Pesach, or Passover. Jesus’ followers entered their covenant in the sacred practice of the shared meal of bread and wine known in greek as the Eucharist. It is the sacrifice Jesus made that we celebrate each time we share that Eucharist. Just as bread and wine sustain our bodies, the indomitable love he shows nourishes our full beings. It is by sharing this meal that resurrection happens, because we re-member Jesus and his love in a meal that unites us in our differences of opinion, politics, class, race, nation, and even language. This covenant exists side by side with Torah, in which Jesus’ people also eat side by side, re-membering what liberation meant to their ancestors. 

This is why Easter is worth sharing. We do not presume to demand that all follow Jesus. We celebrate what Jesus taught; what Jesus did; and what we become as we share his meal and follow his way of love. True love is beyond the powers of death, of hate, of fear, of ignorance, of evil. Winter may come, but it will never last forever, for Spring will come again. Those enslaved, those oppressed, must be freed from such evils, and to live in peace. Come and see what this celebration is all about!