Sunday, March 23, 2008


After last week's political hubbub, it seems right to share this image of the Risen Christ from Lodwar Cathedral in Kenya. No, Jesus doesn't have to be pictured as a long haired blonde.

"Why do you look for the living among the dead?" According to the Christian Biblical account attributed to Luke, that's what two marvelous beings (angels?) asked the women who came to look for Jesus' body after he died by torture and humiliation on the Romans' cross.

Today on Easter, Christians commemorate the story that Jesus, though undoubtedly executed, yet lived and encouraged his disheartened followers to carry on his mission.

Unimaginable and unimagined resurrection is a perennial theme in human existence whether we call it that or not. On one level, it is simply seasonal. Consider the lyrics of a hymn we sang today:

Now the green blade rises from the buried grain,
Wheat that in the dark earth many years has lain;
Love lives again, that with the dead has been:
Love is come again, like wheat that springs up green.

#204, Hymnal 1982

But some hope for continued active life from those who are gone informs even the least theistic among us. Several weeks ago "bigjac" informed his blogging community that his wife had died:

...keep in mind that I am an atheist. So, I will not agree with you if you write that she is in a better place, dancing with the angels, now that she is no longer in a wheelchair. She is dead, and she is buried in Hays, Kansas. The only thing that lives on is the ideas and habits that she taught me over the 35 years I knew her. And that is a lot.

We seem to be creatures who hang on to a faint hope in our very beings that there is some enduring meaning, even in death. It's one of our nicer qualities. And the hope that our past -- however dismal and painful -- can be transformed into a more just and more peaceful future inspires much of whatever good we do in our collective social movements.

1 comment:

Mark Prime (tpm/Confession Zero) said...

Jesus was a "wooly haired man with bronze skin" according to the original text. Good of you to post this.

Your description of our "faint hope..." was beautifully written.