Part of me wants to be moved by this post. It’s beautifully, honestly and powerfully written. Poignant, I suppose, would be the word I’m looking for.
But more of me knows: that’s someone else’s story now.
I grew up on Jesus. I loved him passionately. I “asked him into my heart” so many times. Wrote passionate poetry about his loving sacrifice.
But I was in love with Prince Charming. In love with Robin Hood. In love with King Arthur. In love with a legend.
There was a rabbi named Yeshua. He hailed from Naṣrath. He taught about love and compassion. He was a little crazy. Most people who are so willing to defy social conformity are. I don’t know why exactly the Romans crucified him. I have a story in my mind these days of him willingly giving himself up so that they wouldn’t execute his followers, including the woman he loved. A human story. I like it. Maybe I’ll write it down someday. It would be fiction, though, and I wouldn’t suggest anyone “believe” in it.
Easter is coming, and the word should stop Christians in their tracks. You’re about to celebrate a pagan holiday. I have no problem with that myself, these days. It’s all about life to me. Life on Earth. Life in the Solar System. The cycles we experience here. The changing of the seasons. Going from the bleakness of winter to the vibrancy of spring (here in the northern hemisphere, that is).
Stories. We tell ourselves stories. Stories are awesome. Stories can change lives. Stories make life more than just biology.
Jesus is a story. One that has changed greatly over the centuries. One that has undergone so much political reshaping as to be impossible to trace back to historical fact.
Celebrate Jesus this Easter if that is the story that teaches you to embrace life, to forgive self and others, to find ways to hope and go on in the face of suffering.
That is just not my story anymore.