Sunday, April 08, 2007

My Easter Sermon

You broke the bonds and you
Loosed the chains
Carried the cross
Of my shame
Of my shame
You know I believed it

But I still haven't found what I'm looking for
Much has been made over the past ten or so years about wearing your heart out on your sleeve if you're Christian, and you had better have the right heart (pun intended) or you'd be savaged in the media.

In truth, although 85% of this nation identifies itself as "Christian", most of us probably are closer in philosophy to Bono than to Robertson. The rigid dogma of the Religious Right is fading finally, although I expect one or two more paroxysms of "true faith" rearing its ugly head before it finally dies once more.

I say "once more" because American history, indeed, world history, is filled with periods of this dogma orthodoxy. Usually right around a milepost like a millennium.

Then things go back to normal for two reasons: one, it's pretty pointless to worry about the end times and two, people grow up a little.

Part of why I titled my own blog "The Non-Rapturist's Guide To The Galaxy" is to dissuade people from thinking that all Christians are loons. Jesus informs my beliefs, He shapes my faith and my life, but He doesn't own it.

Which brings me to what this post is about: Living life in grace.

See, the secret to life is to live in truth. Truth is grace. Truth is the force in which we can find our grace, and in truth, we can find what we are looking for.

To live in truth is to acknowledge that a higher being lives within us, whether you want to call that being Christ, Astarte, the Force, Buddha, whatever. He (or She) sees truth, then speaks truth, then does truth.

And the truth is, we all live on this planet. We all suffer the same fate as everyone else, the same indignities, the same tribulations and the same joys and triumphs. What connects me to you, is what connects you to me, and connects us both to everyone and everything else here and in the universe. ("For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity.")

Which is more true than you can imagine. The air you breathe now was once breathed by Socrates, by Napoleon, by George Washington, by Joan of Arc. The water you drink today has passed through Hitler and Jesus, through Julius Caesar and Mother Theresa, possibly even through me.

Sometimes, all we need to do is ask and we will receive. Sometimes, we ask and we don't receive, or don't think we did, because sometimes no is as good an answer as yes. But we also must give when others ask, or else the whole thing falls apart.

And I think this is what my Lord, my Jesus, not the Jesus of Pat Robertson and John Hagee and Ann Coulter, will ultimately judge me on for heaven: did I live in His Grace on earth? Did I understand that what I do, what I ask for, what I give, affects everyone else on this planet? And that life is a zero-sum game, in that what I get means someone else gets less, so its incumbent upon me to give back to that equation?

So what to make then, as a Christian, of Christ's gift? How much must we give back to equalize our part of the equation?

A lot more than we do, I think. A whole lot more. Fortunately, we have the rest of our lives to do it. Seek, and ye shall find, but ye shall find it within you. You are enough.

Happy Easter to you, if it applies, or even if it doesn't.

And don't forget: support me for (not)President!