Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Triumph of Easter

nothing quilty today -- I'm pondering the meaning of Easter -- read on if you would like to ponder along with me

This is a window in the church I attend. I have looked at it many times, but yesterday when photographing the window, I more fully began to ponder the human side of Jesus.

Our book group at church has read several works by Marcus Borg. Borg suggests that the divine Jesus came at the time of his resurrection. Before that, Jesus was human. This idea has greatly helped me with my understanding of Jesus. That human/divine dichotomy has always puzzled me. Jesus as a person is much easier to understand when I can think that his divine self began at the time of his resurrection.

This window shows Jesus in prayer just before all the evils of Holy Week were about to occur. He knew he was in for something horrendous. I'm sure he was afraid. He was probably praying for courage or even to be relieved of suffering. This was the human side of Jesus. He was a regular man, asking for courage to endure the upcoming agony.

He was also a great man, and had strong faith and ideals for a better world. He was not willing to give those up, even in the face of torture. There have been men and women like that in our world... and knowing what they stood up for and endured helps me to imagine how Jesus did it, too.

Now when I look at this window, I think of Jesus as a man with fears and foibles, just like the rest of us. But unlike some of us, he was very strong and steadfast. Setting aside his fears, and trusting God, he stood up for love and did not waiver. This is what we can strive for in our humanness, as well.

We will be celebrating love and its triumph on Easter Sunday. May yours be joyful, and may we all be inspired to live with courage and love as Jesus showed us how to do.


Sextant said...

As you know, no one is going to make me the poster child for being a good Christian, yet Gethsemane and Golgotha remain perhaps one of my last vestiges of Christianity. I had somewhat similar thoughts over a very similar window, and there is a bit of information on the original painting by Heinrich Hoffman that is the basis of the window.

Wikipedia on Heinrich Hoffman:

BTW this is the second most popular post on my blog. St Theresa of Avila is first, although since Lent, Gethsemane has pulled into first place on the daily hits. On Thursday my blog had 186 hits, I would estimate that 150 of them were for Gethsemane. Most of these hits are image searches, on rare occasion someone sticks around long enough to actually read the post.

On Thursday night / Friday morning about 2:30 I went out into the backyard and under a cloudless sky and a very full moon contemplated the Mystery of Gethsemane. I tried to think about what must have been going through Jesus' mind. Of course, all I could really think about was that I was freezing, so my contemplations fell short...the spirit was willing, but the flesh was week.

It is my profound belief that there was indeed a historical Jesus, and regardless of whether there is a God or not, regardless of whether there was a resurrection or not, the suffering of Jesus at Gethsemane and Golgotha were very real and horrific, and ultimately changed the world. At Gethsemane, Jesus had a choice. Being a man he could have simply walked away, being Divine, he chose not to.

Very lovely post, and a very lovely window.

Anonymous said...

Stopping by to wish you a Happy Easter.

Carol E. said...

P.S. Sextant's comment and another one he made to me at a different web site have me thinking I should be more clear... I have not actually read the Borg book in which he posits this thought of Jesus and his divinity/humanity. So i am probably misrepresenting what Borg said, and I should do more reading before I have the audacity to quote him. I do, as Sextant said elsewhere, believe in the divinity of Jesus as a human, as I believe that there is divinity in all of us. This is a complex thought that needs a lot more pondering. I still stand by most of what I said here, but the question of when Jesus became divine is not as black and white as i suggest in this post. There is lots more to ponder.

Sextant always challenges my brain. Damn him! hahaha!! (I am glad he does.)

Sextant said...

I looked at Amazon's selection for Marcus Borg. Zowie, there must be a dozen titles. If you can steer me in the right direction on which would be a good title to pursue, I would appreciate it.

I found an interesting interview with Borg, and I found a huge resonance with one of his statements from the interview:

"A lot of popular Christianity, these days, is fear-based religion. And it relates to a lot of American politics that is fear-based politics. I would wager that half of our population, or maybe more, lives in bondage to fear: financial fear, fear of terrorism, fear of the rest of the world, so many fears. Jesus taught that salvation means being liberated from fear. We don't help anyone by pushing forms of Christianity that brandish the fear of hell over people's heads."


Very interesting, I am going to have to check this guy out.

Regarding me challenging your brain, I don't think so...Carol you got all your s--- in one bag. I think you are the smartest and coolest lady who has ever damned me. I gladly accept my fate.

Thanks for tip on Borg, I think you have given me a new guru in my never ending search for the Infinite.