Tag: Easter

A Thought for Easter Sunday

Thoughts in Solitude

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going, I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead my by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

Thomas Merton

Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk of the Abbey of Gethsemane, KY.  Merton was a prolific poet and writer on spiritual social themes. He lived from 1915 until 1968.

Just a little something to think about …

Suppose you were one of Christ’s twelve disciples, and having just seen him brutally flogged and crucified, you fled, frightened for your life, and hid from certain death. What would cause you to suddenly change … to step out and publicly proclaim his resurrection and preach his Gospel, knowing full well it would inevitably lead to your own gruesome death?

Would you do it for money, fame, or some other earthly reward? How much treasure would it take to get you to do that, knowing you’d never live to spend it?

Yet, these twelve disciples did precisely that, without payment, and knowing it would undoubtedly lead to their own deaths. What would make a man find the courage to do what they did? It must have been faith. An unshakeable faith created between the time of Christ’s crucifixion and their individual decisions to spread the good news. What could have happened in that short time?

I am not a Bible-thumper or any kind of an evangelist, and I have long felt dissatisfied with what organized religion has become. However, I was raised as a Christian, and over the years, I have developed my own firm personal belief in God.

I have asked myself these questions many times over the years, typically around Easter. And I can only come up with one answer.

It would take a miracle …

What about you?

I wish everyone a Happy and Blessed Easter. And, I know we will all get through these troubling times together.

Easter Day Musings

Easter Sunday was a beautiful day. It was also Sophie’s birthday. She is now one year old. I decided to take her on a walk at Bond Park here in Cary. It is one of our favorite places to walk and practice her training regimens. We walked about four miles including the two-mile Lake Trail that circles Bond Lake.

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As we walked, enjoying the sunshine and friendly passers-by (Sophie always garners plenty of attention), I began to ponder the Easter holiday and what it means to me. Beside eating jelly beans, I mean!

I am not sure what sparked it.

Perhaps it was the recent bit in the news about some Muslim guy claiming that Jesus was never crucified. I have heard claims such as this before. I have heard some argue that there is no proof that Jesus ever even existed  … outside from the Bible, of course.  From what I see, most of the people who make this claim never looked outside the Bible … or anywhere else for that matter!

For those who do dig a little deeper, you can find evidence from non-Christian sources that help point to who Jesus was and what happened to him. This is often held up as proof that he existed and was indeed crucified. Much of Lee Strobel’s book, The Case for Christ, was based on evidence of this type. This non-Christian evidence is often written by those who were hostile toward the early Christians, which makes it an interesting spin on things … at least to me. And, I have looked at much of it. There are records from Roman era historians such as Tacitus, Pliny the Younger, or Flavius Jospehus, who are often ridiculing those early Christians and their crazy Messianic leader.

Then there are those who like to argue that these Roman historians are all liars, or that somehow their works are all some kind of forgeries … they must be part of some kind of ancient right-wing pro-Christian conspiracy I guess! I must admit it …  I find this claim by those people even more fascinating.

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Anyway, we continued on our walk and enjoying the beautiful day.  I was busy watching Sophie enjoy all the sights and smells and chasing after bumble bees, when I suddenly decided none of that really mattered much to me. What really matters is what you believe, and I do believe that one of Jesus’ primary  teachings,

Love your neighbor as yourself,

is simply a pretty darn good rule to live by. Jesus stated this very same concept several times and in several different ways throughout his journey toward his death.

To me, arguing over whether Jesus was actually the Son of God or not, or whether he was crucified or not … does not in anyway make this basic concept any less profound.

This is not a statement of faith for me.  My faith is very personal. I am not very evangelical. I will discuss my beliefs with a certain few people, but I will not argue about it with anyone. I know what I believe. You can believe what you want to believe.

But, it does seem to me that if more people followed this simple “golden” rule, life would be much better for many of us!

I remember going to a J.C. Penny Golden Rule Award ceremony some years ago (during the mid-1990’s) in Knoxville, Tennessee when I was working as an Anderson County CASA volunteer. It seems this same “Golden Rule” can be found, perhaps worded a bit differently, in every major world religion: Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism (and Commonsenseism … kidding here). I found that to be really fascinating at the time.  A guest speaker read each version and stated the religion in which that version was based.

I also got to meet Jack Hanna there.  That was pretty cool to!

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So, anyway, Happy Easter to you all … from me and Sophie!