Last Sunday, I preached about the Exodus/Passover story and on being stubborn for all the right reasons. In the story, Moses, Yahweh, the Israelites and the midwives were all stubborn- and as a community they managed to escape a despotic, seemingly invincible Empire and make it to the “promised land.” Of course, Moses himself didn’t get there; he saw it from a mountaintop but died before they entered. That’s rather sad, but it’s still a triumphant story: the Egyptians lost all control over the Israelites bodies, minds, hearts and souls and they became a new and empowered people.
Jesus and his Jewish followers were also living in a despotic, totalitarian, violent, seemingly invincible Empire. They, too, were stubborn in their resistance to it- although sadly, the Romans had perfected autocracy and rule by violence and suppression, so none of them made it out of the Empire alive, including Jesus. But even if they couldn’t escape the Romans’ control over their bodies, they did loosen the Romans’ control over their minds, hearts and souls. The Jesus followers became a new and empowered people. That, too, was a triumph.
As a UU kid, Easter was always about the renewal of life, the revival of spring, the natural miracles all around us, the creative and triumphant energy of life flowing “fresh and free”. It was about Easter egg hunts (ideally outside) and dressing up and singing our hearts out in church and being alive! To be honest, in my UU congregation, Easter had nothing to do with Jesus. But the Jesus story adds a layer of meaning about humanity- not just theology- to the holiday. We’ll take a look at that on Sunday, in our own UU way.
Whether you are traveling for Passover or Easter this weekend, hosting family or friends, or having a quiet Easter at home, I wish you joy, rest and some gladness in your body, heart, mind and soul- for being alive, for loved ones, and for being part of a community of stubborn, embodied love.
May joy be ours in the morning!