Once again, the holidays have arrived, and we aren't in the least bit prepared for them: I have bought all the kids' their (pagan) Easter basket stuff , but I still haven't mustered up the requisite "Easter" feelings necessary to fully participate in this holiday.
IDK, maybe it's because I was such a naughtygirl at heart growing up-- I just never made the connection between a bloodied and tortured God-as-man and sugar coated marshmallow chicks in a pastel basket (um, but it's not like Jesus was wearing a bunny costume and tossing colored eggs at the crowds... Really, He wasn't).
I think it's the problem I have with all the religious holidays: am I religious, a believer-- a true follower? Or am I, like most of us in the culture, simply clinging to the meaningless childhood rituals of overconsumption?
'Cause Lord knows, I've consumed enough...
I have the same existential dilemma during the Christmas season: is it about the birth of our Lord and savior, or the happy anticipation of a jolly obese man bearing food and gifts?
'Cause again, I surely got enough crap to fill TWO Airstream trailers and an extra storage unit, to boot.
I would really prefer that holidays weren't religious at all: I would like the freedom to celebrate the "Spring" ritual of welcoming the warmer weather and return of the birds and flowers with chocolate, sugar, and lots of color; without the pressure to "feel" anything more profound than happiness that I am no longer freezing my ass off and reveling in my depressive state.
And then, when the time is right, feel the profound wonder of how our loving God came to earth, not in the form of a king, but as a pauper born into a shit filled cave, helpless and needy and depending on the failings of common, everyday people to help him as he grew into adulthood-- and then was welcomed, one week, as a precious guest by an adoring group of followers-- only to be turned on by the same people and tortured, mocked, humiliated, stripped of dignity, and brutally murdered, Ed Gein style. This Jesus could have snapped His fingers and kicked our deserving asses for being flaky, for being so blind, vindictive, and horrific-- but instead, He died for us, choosing to endure every awful aspect of being a human, just so He could experience what it's like to be US and then take the burden of responsibility for all the crappy things *we* do onto Himself. Pretty unbelievable.
I couldn't take communion tonight, because I just can't reconcile the chocolate with the weight of what God chose to do, and what so many of us, myself included, just can't fathom. Any suggestions?