Everybody wants to get to heaven, but nobody wants to die.
In the span of a single day, I read and heard variations of that statement from two very different sources. One was a quote used in curriculum for a Christian education class. I can’t remember the author’s name attributed to the quote. The other source was a verse from a hip-hop song used for the soundtrack of a television show. I don’t know the title of the song, or the group’s name.
I bet the writer and the entertainer don’t know each other. And I don’t think, if somehow each one discovered the other’s use of the statement, that there would be any accusations of plagiarism or nasty lawsuits.
I suspect it’s a rather commonly used phrase, just as relevant for a scholar as for a singer.
Easter has arrived. The words “death” and “heaven” will be proclaimed—shouted, whispered, prayed, sung—in churches around the world.
Along with Christmas, Easter is one of the two grand celebrations of the Christian year.
Christmas is easy; Easter is hard.
Imagine what you feel like a few days out from Christmas? No, I’m not talking about the exhaustion of shopping or the obligations of parties. How do you feel as you get close the end of the journey to Bethlehem? Regardless of whether you take the Bible literally, with every word and situation laden with unassailable holy truth, or dismiss it as a fanciful tale, I would bet there is the common ground of anticipation. With the smell of evergreens and the crinkle of bright wrapping paper, there is that birth. Maybe you slip into a Christmas Eve service, cold from a wintry night and cynical from a weary day, and you hear those familiar verses with gift-giving magi and trembling shepherds. And birth happens. A new child. A new hope. Continue reading →
I’m grateful for* . . . Good Friday. Because as a Christian, it’s a day that dares me to be honest with my faith. Please: no rabbits, eggs, chocolates or syrupy hymns. Please: no fancy language about atonement or how-God-works-in-mysterious-ways. Please: help me be reminded how we selfish, self-serving humans are so good (then and now) at building crosses and pounding nails. I don’t believe Jesus died for our sins or died to promote chocolate bunnies. Me, I believe Jesus died because humans nearly always resort to violence. We get rid of troublemakers. And Jesus, my faulty faith also believes, trusted God’s love even as everything—everything—fell apart . . . and even as he had no idea what would happen next. Sorry, on Good Friday, I get serious. I apologize. (Not really.)
What are you grateful for today?
*Normally, I post a daily “gratitude” on my Facebook page. Though this was what I first wrote when I considered what I was thankful for today, I just couldn’t upload it onto the silly, lovely digital village of Facebook. Decided to put my words somewhere . . . which meant here.
(By the way, I hope you have a miserable, truthful Good Friday.)