Monday, April 1, 2024

More on Easter? You can't have too much, right?

Very interesting post here, if only as a story of conversion (or here). The convert is Paul Kingsnorth and he says something very inspiring about Easter! My bold:

"In the church, this Resurrection is the biggest, most astonishing, weirdest thing that’s ever happened to humanity. And it is exactly something that happens when all hope is gone, when your Messiah has just been crucified and buried. Then this astonishing, impossible, and unexpected thing happens, which not only brings him back, but also completely rewires your understanding of what the world is and how it works. And that’s what my coming to Christianity did to me. And every Easter—or Pascha, as we call it in the Eastern church, which is a corruption of [the word] Passover, actually—the story deepens for me. It’s interesting because I used to think that you become a Christian and that’s that and you’re sorted. But it’s not that. It’s the beginning of a journey, and every year the journey gets deeper. So every time you go through this cycle of 40 days of fasting and then a feast at Easter, something else deepens. It’s like you just dropped a couple of inches deeper into this thing that you’re in. And as I say, the world changes shape. So that is the kind of steady hope, and it’s always there. It doesn’t matter what humans do, and not everything is under our control. And that’s okay. There’s always something else. There’s always somebody holding you. That’s how it feels. And it’s rather wonderful. It doesn’t remove the struggles from your life, but it means that they’re in the bigger context of you always being held and watched by something much bigger that’s happening. So yeah, Easter is a pretty wonderful time."

Incidentally, the whole post above is a tribute to the old saw that familiarity (with Christianity in Western culture) breeds contempt (or longing for anything spiritual/religious other than Christianity).

American bishops have something to say here. Quite a lovely conversation on a leading US TV show.

Michael Jensen - leading theologian [IMHO] within the Diocese of Sydney - has written engagingly on Easter here. He makes a link to the current phenomena of conspiracy theories - there were a few back in the day about the Christian claim that the empty tomb was due to resurrection and not anything else.

Of course we shouldn't forget ... Judas. And, given a few posts here and there about universalism, focusing on Judas and his "future" after betraying Jesus is quite a test case for why we think, or do not think universalism might be a theological thing. Edward Feser strikes a blow against universalism.

ADDENDUM: Can we resurrect Christ Church Cathedral, Christchurch?

We have hit a bump in the road to reinstatement of our Cathedral. A bump which might might be an impenetrable wall. Read here, here and here.


Mark Murphy said...

Christchurch Cathedral is resurrected and is looking very fine! Why look for the living amongst the dead?

Mark Murphy said...

How can there be resurrection without Judas's treachery? Of all the disciples, he plays the most awful, difficult, human part.

What happens to Edmund in Narnia?

Why on earth would a God of love give up on this treacherous, cowardly, frightened part of us? That's why there's incarnation.

Mark Murphy said...

The very difficult, ongoing saga of the rebuild (or not) of Christ Church Cathedral raises many interesting questions about the place of Anglicanism in (secular) NZ society in 2024.

Who - actually, emotionally - owns the Cathedral? (Who, then should contribute to its rebuild)? We find ourselves in this current predicament because the answer to this question is not just: the Anglican Church (/Diocese of Christchurch).

It clearly has enormous value to people who probably never worship in it, and perhaps at all. How is the church to engage with this interest/attraction/ 'ownership' from "the world"? Empathically, sympathetically, and as part of the (Anglican) Church's mission to unify society (close to the heart of our present bishop). Critically, prophetically - pointing to what the Gospel really is or isn't?

And then there's the history and special place of Cathedrals - both in the civic culture of an English heritage city, and within the history of Anglicanism (where Cathedrals escaped the more extreme protestant reforms and preserved many Catholic riches).

To the city of Christchurch, the Cathedral is perhaps something beautiful, ornate, and majestic, and that anchors a sense of whakapapa and identity that is both cultural and religious because at one time the two couldn't be separated. But now they can, have been. What does the Church do? Preserve this heritage in the hope that it calls people back into a deeper engagement, or refuse to be custodians of secularism's empty self - when being so would incur such energetic and financial costs?

I don't expect you to answer this, Peter! You have my prayers this week and on-goingly!

Liz C. said...

An RNZ article this morning sounds positive! Good. Years ago I worked for a commercial photo library in the city. When clients wanted photos to illustrate Christchurch as a destination it was a given they'd want photos of the Cathedral in any photo selection made for their consideration. I feel that the Cathedral, in addition to its religious significance, is, in its central city presence and long-beloved status, the beating heart of Christchurch. It summons a response of affection and affinity - even from a person like me who doesn't identify as Anglican! I suspect this feeling of affinity may even remain with visitors to the city for some time after they've gone on their merry way. I look forward, with hope, to the necessary funding being realised, and for the rebuild to continue "on-goingly" - thanks for that wonderful word, Mark!!! ~Liz