(the R is for really)
Jesus might have had an idea. His idea might have involved every person who would ever live after his death, and resurrection. The idea might come to him on his return to heaven. His thought process might have been something like this:
“I have given so much – my entire life, that all of mankind be rewarded with the possibility of eternal life and peace in here in heaven. I hope that people will come to know me, to appreciate and celebrate the struggles and the sacrifice I have made for my Father, and for them. As they come to know me, I hope they will gather and celebrate in the form of right-living, practiced through ritual observances.”
His idea for the ritualistic observance of his death and resurrection might have been a simple one; that one day per year we should all stop, gather around a table with friends and family, and in Jesus’ own name, celebrate his death and resurrection by doing harm to ourselves – together. His idea probably wouldn’t stop there. Likely, Jesus would want us to do additional harm to our children – even greater harm than he would want us to do to ourselves.
Jesus’ big idea for this celebration would be to gather round, and eat all kinds of crap, do so all day long, and do so in his name. Glazed ham, hot cross buns, casseroles, breads, cakes, pies, and good old alcohol, and all of this with second and third helpings included. After all, wasn’t his entire life dedicated to preaching the act of indulgence and excess?
Well, there was also that part of his early life that was dedicated to teaching the ritual gathering, and subsequent poisoning of children, you know, with kid-poison; jelly beans, chocolates bunnies, puffy marshmallow things, and baskets offered to all the little ones, full of the same – and all in the name of Him.
Now, if you’re like me and you really don’t believe Jesus wanted us to harm each other in any way, least of all in his name, then my question to you is this: Why is Easter, the observance of the death and resurrection of Jesus, celebrated in this way? It seems lacking in mindfulness.
I’m not suggesting that this very solemn Christian holiday be celebrated without food or gathering. In fact, ritual observances, which include food, are the mortar that helps keep the bricks of faith held in place. I do suggest that, very Americanly, we excessively emphasize the occasion, thus diluting the cause for the occasion.
I am also suggesting that that if one steps back and looks at the larger picture of the American Easter celebration, and then compares the details of that celebration process to the lessons we perceive that Jesus was trying to teach us, one might have trouble seeing where high blood pressure, increased cholesterol, and type-II diabetes fit in to the equation.
Please print this and column and place it under the cross-shaped WWJD magnet that you (may) have on your refrigerator. In 9 months, please make the following substitutions:
- Jesus’ birth, for death and resurrection
- Candy canes and Chocolate Santa’s, for Peeps
- Roast Beef, for Ham – at least in Whoville
To my Jewish friends and family, please make appropriate substitutions as desired for the holidays of Hanukah and Passover:
- Passover, for Easter
- Hanukah, for Christmas
- Moses, for Jesus
- Hanukah gelt, for Peeps
And actually, you may go ahead and keep the traditional Seder dinner intact; nutritionally balanced and inherent portion control, but maybe we could cut down a bit on the wine. Peace. rc