Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Sunday & Godlessness or not?

Easter then; getting dressed up, panic, late for churh as always and knowing we'll probably get a seat in the balcony of the mission, crowding into the pews, annoying those who arrived early, though they grace you with a Catholic smile of forgiveness, because we all have original sin in common. After a long service, going home andexcitedly scowering the garden for chocolates and plastic eggs filled with delicacies in the traditional easter egg hunt, followed by setting the table with china, silver, cloth napkins for brunch out on the patio in the dappled sunlight beneath the large oak tree. We don't talk about God or the sermon, but the presence and idea of a miracle is all around us, combined with the buzz of too many chocolate easter eggs, ane the sense that the afternoon will linger for an eternity.

Easter now: A call from my husband's religious family in the Netherlands on Saturday afternoon after they have attended an Easter wake that ended at midnight. Answering the question of our plans for easter as, "well, uh, a brunch with my family, perhaps a morning church service" editing out the easter egg hunt and the general hedenism of the days plans. Perhaps a pre-brunch with our friends to share mimosas and talk politics or the upcoming 5k run and our training. In a nutshell: Easter eggs. Mimosas, cute clothing, sunshine. Gardening, friends and family.

So, is my current version a Godless experience? Did that sense of miraculousness I grew up with really have to do with a connection to the spiritual, or was it the whole production, the polished silver, the fine clothes, the idea that we had to behave and act civilly, and think of Christ rising from the dead?

Having God in your life, when most of your friends have no interest, or even FEAR of religion, is a much more evasive topic. There is definitely a spiritual presence in our lives, but we don't define it as such, at least not out loud, and not as conversation at a gathering. Yet, it is so important. My friends, though not outwardly religious, have several traits in common--strong ethics and good samaritanism, which translates into belief in doing good for others, a sense of accountability, a desire for regime change, friends who are there when you need them and varying degrees of compassion for the less fortunate. These traits are all about God as I know it. So, is that glamorous grace of childhood any more powerful than a web of community who believes in kindness to others and acts upon it?

My man just put on " St. John's Passion." I suppose our childhood is shining through.

Happy Easter everyone!

1 comment:

Roy said...

We missed you for brunch (more leftovers for me!), but I'm glad to read that you had a good and reflective day. I think that there is a little about the interplay of symbols, faith & action in your post.
In that spirit, you might enjoy listening to this interview with a Jesus scholar about the resurrection.