Sunday, March 31, 2013

Non-Religious Lessons from a Week of Religious Observances

Today is Easter, which comes at the end of many Holy Week activities.  It's also been the week of Passover.  My thoughts have swirled with all the images of the religious observances this week, and I've thought of these non-religious lessons for all of us.

--We gave my nephew Easter stickers, which he loved and took great joy in sticking everywhere.  Each packet of stickers  only cost a few dollars, yet they brought more joy than an expensive present would have brought.

I should give him stickers more often.  They're easy enough to mail, after all.  And I should be on the lookout for ways to bring joy to others--and to myself.

What inexpensive joys can we add to our lives with more regularity?

--Passover reminds us that when deliverance comes, it may come quickly and we should be ready, with our sandals laced and our lunches ready.

What would you take with you if you had to leave quickly?  Do you know where your important documents are?  Do you have your writing projects in a portable format?  What are your most important pictures?  Where are they?

--Good Friday reminds us of all the ways we can betray the ones we love.  The Easter season tells us what to do when we have betrayed our loved ones:  apologize and try to love better. Peter's approach is much better than Judas Iscariot's, the suicide route.

--Maundy Thursday shows us how to build community:  share a meal together.  How can we do more of that?

--Easter Sunday, the empty tomb, the followers looking for the living amongst the dead.  Where are we doing the same things?  Which practices give health and wholeness to our lives?  What entombs us?

--These holidays point to the possibility of renewal.  We might think of our own lives--where would we like to see a resurrection?  Are there projects that we've left for dead that we should revisit?  Are there dreams that have been enslaved that we should set free?

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