Saturday, April 3, 2010

Hope and Rebirth

Individuals that identify as Unitarian Universalists (UUs) reflect diverse theologies and ideologies, ranging from Christianity, Humanists, Buddhists, Muslims, Agnostics, Mystics, Atheists, Pagans as well as those Questioning and others with no labels and those who define themselves as Way Farers on the Journey (just to name a few). We gather each Sunday in community as people of vastly different faith expressions in and under the common tradition of Unitarian Universalism to lift up our joys and sorrows, our gifts and needs, to raise our collective voices in prayer, meditation, reflection, and song - not at home or in our yards - but here in commonly shared space and in community. The mighty canopy that holds us and embraces us is UUism and within that tradition are a continuum of beliefs. As a clergy person during the Easter season I seek to lift Easter up in a number of ways to glean the fullness of this powerful story that has survived over 2,000 years. For Christians, clearly it is about a defining moment of salvation where God's son in the person of Jesus took on the ultimate act that cleansed humans of their sins and "washed them white as snow." It is for many a time of redication and renewal in remembrance of the love of the Living God through the sacrifice of His Son. The story of the Cross, the pain and suffering that by all accounts had to have been horrendous. But as we know it does not end at Calvary. For the bonds of death did not hold Jesus. And the story tells us that he arose on the third day. For non Christians and liberals that do not interpret the story literally it is nevertheless a story of significance. It is a story about the painful dying to ones old self and old ways and rebirthing into a newness. It is about breaking the chains of ennui and addictions that can be physical, spiritual, emotional, financial and experiencing a rebirth. That rebirth is symbolized in the resurrection of Jesus.

So whether you believe the account of Jesus' extraordinary life is completely accurate or you believe it is a parable there is much to be derived from this rich story.

May you search your heart and your beliefs for the gems that await you this Easter Weekend. For church and religion, more than any other places and things ought to be a source where we can hear about and then practice what it means to be human - to tell and retell our stories and others; to make meaning of them and our purpose and their larger meanings. Jesus, may be one of those models in your life. Buddha may be one of those models. Muhammad may be one. Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Caesar Chavez, Alice Walker, Gloria E. Anzaldua, Kwok Pui-lan, Mother Teresa, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks . . . (insert some names of your own here). These are individuals that have offered truths for living to us.

Blessings! Rev. Qiyamah

to loving authentic relationships.

"He died for You"
These words are powerfully symbolic and resonate across faith traditions. We know what it evokes for Christians that embrace the crucifixtion. There are many other richly descriptive sources that the reader can access to be reminded of the "Greatest Love Story Ever Told." The story has prevailed over 2,000 years and will be the center point of worship at Christian churches around the world on Easter Sunday, April 4.

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