"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Songs of the Pioneers song from TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon's old-fashioned newspaper column, cross-breeding metaphors and journalism and art, for readers in 150 countries.
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Wondering about Easter
I wonder if Jesus would go to a church service today?
I wonder which church he would choose?
I wonder what he'd tell all these churches, and religious people, who can't get along?
I wonder which churches would welcome him?
I wonder which churches he'd feel welcome in?
I wonder what he would preach about today?
Or I wonder if he'd be in some homeless shelter or orphanage, caring for the poor, the hungry, the sick?
Or I wonder if he'd be sitting around a big table with friends, sipping wine, eating, laughing?
I wonder what the apostles and first Christians did on that first anniversary of his resurrection? They may have already been scattered, but you know they remembered. Perhaps they gathered in little groups, disorganized and spontaneous in their homes, saying a few words and prayers, having a meal, remembering the good times, sharing tears.
I wonder how long it took before they started making rules and formalizing the ceremonies for that day, rather than keeping it simple and fresh like Jesus' teachings and life?
I know he would seek out those with sincere hearts, who put love and care for others foremost.
I know he'd preach what he preached then, about love and blessings and forgiveness.
I know he'd be proud of those apostles who went everywhere to tell people about him, driving the nails in their own coffins with their passion for a new way of life and values--not of judgment and cruelty or narrow-mindedness or politics or hatred.
I know they, and he, turned a symbol of death and cruelty and judgment into one of hope and joy and life for the lowest of the low.
I know you can see evidence of their work, and his words in the most remote parts of the world.
I know the titles of two songs speak of sunrise this morning--"I'll see you in in the morning, " and "I'm going to sit at the welcome table."
For the record, the first mention of the day as a formal festival is found in the writings of a bishop Melito of Sardis, about mid-second century, who characterized it as well-established.
Photos: Sunrise at Chaco Canyon, N.M. Holy ground, the old church and capo santo at Taos Pueblo.