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Sunday, March 31, 2013


{Public Domain painting by Antonio da Correggio}
(August 1489 – March 5, 1534)
Today is Easter.
Does anyone care?  Is faith still relevant in the modern world?
In the UK, 44% of those polled recently said they had no religious affiliation.

Another 14% of Britons asked three years ago said they did not know who Christ was.
One-fifth of U.S. adults say they are not part of a traditional religious denomination.
In this postmodern world nothing seems certain any more.

To hope for a better future seems unrealistic, maybe even irresponsible.

Is hope still possible and realistic in such a context? Is the Easter joy and hope still credible?

 In a world where violence abounds and people fight each other, one wonders whether the message and significance of Easter is still relevant.

Some say that Christian hope – not to be confused with optimism – is not only possible, but is what is required and called for from Christians.
Perhaps hope is not based on visible signs, but rather on the firm trust and conviction that God is part of human history and is bringing about a new reality, commonly called the Kingdom of God.
Can rational people believe this is happening here and now, even in the midst of discouraging signs?

Perhaps Easter is a time to remind us of the message of Jesus and the example of love, forgiveness, reconciliation and peace.

It provides us an occasion when Christians celebrate the message of hope for everyone.

 To remember in our daily lives to love one another and be peacemakers.

That command could well be seen as the embodiment of Christianity, for love is the fulfilment of God's law.

In a strange way, Christian hope is hope against hope. Does it make sense for Christians to hope for a better and transformed future?
Is the resurrection of Jesus a paradox or “mystery”?

Is it an event that contains meaning far more than the human mind can imagine or comprehend?

Is the empty tomb an indicator of the radical reality of the resurrection?

Does it stand as a historical witness to the fact of the resurrection and also ground the mystery to a particular event?

 Jesus, the one who was killed, no longer lies dead in the tomb?

Perhaps the only real proof to the resurrection is the life of believers –

But without the fact of the empty tomb it would be easy to reduce the resurrection to only a spiritual or psychological event.

Some would say that the resurrection is the source of Christian hope because believers no longer live in a world closed to the full extent of God’s grace and mercy.

They live under open heavens of divine communication. The resurrection is not a dim and distant future reality which will happen on “the last day”;

it is a reality already in the present.

What do you think? Is there any meaning to Easter anymore? Does it make any difference in today’s harsh world? 


  1. Good post, Roland.

    Yes, there is hope in this world. There is hope each time we choose goodness, love, mercy and faith, as Jesus taught.

    Yes, there is hope whenever we choose peace and life rather than violence and death.

    Happy Easter, Roland!
    You're a good man!
    Bless you!

  2. Rolnd, I believe in none of this. I was raised Southern Baptist; but somewhere along the way I decided that the One God was no more a reality than all the "myths" of Zeus and the multitude of Gods/Goddesses/ and demi-gods that followed.

    Is the Vikings belief in Wodan any less productive than the Christian belief in God? Don't both deities punish their most staunch believers witht he worst trials of faith known to man?

    I have no faith in any religion. I believe each human being must set their own moral compass, and live by their own rules of faith.
    Are there Angels and Demons? Perhaps. I can believe in astral beings - and God or the Devil are just astral beings to me. Every group needs a leader, right?

    I believe that the stregngth of one personsn'belivefis all on the believer.


  3. The hope, the truth, is that He died so we don't have to. Born twice, die once, Born once, die twice.
    There is still hope today.

  4. Thanks for the reminder, Roland -- it's not about the bunny!

  5. Very nice, Roland. Does Easter make a difference? I think that's a question best answered on an individual level rather than a societal level. We've seen history repeat over and over the godlessness of the world, but still the belief beat on, be it in one form or another.

    Easter matters to me and my family, in a sense of optimism (as you stated) and hope (as you stated), and the belief that there is a larger force helping us along.

    Happy Easter my Friend.

    - Eric

  6. Roland, I must say I understand where Donna is coming from and I support her in what she says. I was raised much as she was (Southern Baptist), and did my own research and reading and came to similar conclusions. Our beliefs are what we make them.

    What we believe in spiritually has to ring true for each of us. That means you either show or don't show your tolerance for the beliefs of others when they don't agree with your own.

    I say bravo for being honest, Donna.

  7. Donna and D.G.:
    I applaud your honesty and am honored at your trust in me to speak your hearts.

    Each of us must find our own way. I believe true bravery is required to say you are a believer in this world grown too sophisticated and educated to accept the myth of God.

    Substance always casts shadows. But the substance is real while the shadow is intangible.

    We pass from a Balder or an Osiris, dying nobody knows when or where, to a historical Person crucified under Pontius Pilate.

    The sky itself is a myth though we see it every day. But the myth of the sky does not negate the truth of the wonder and awe of the stars beyond its illusion.

    I believe in the truth behind Easter because it is contrary to human nature.

    It is not what a man would write if he brought God on the scene, for then there would be pomp and majesty at His arrival and the broken bodies of His enemies at the end.

    God didn’t come in glory but sneaked in through the eyes of a baby in a country manger. He left bloody and broken. He slipped back in without the payback Hollywood would have put into the film of it to whisper, “You’re off the hook. Debt paid. Try not to muck things up til I come back.”

    It is the marriage of heaven and earth: addressed to the savage, the child, and the poet in each of us no less than to the moralist, the scholar, and the philosopher. It is simple enough for a child to embrace and deep enough a philosopher to never touch its bottom.

    C.S. Lewis wrote: “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

    Thank you for your eloquent words. In a world of grasping hands and moral darkness, love exhibited to someone in pain heals the world just a little bit: one tormented soul at a time. :-)

    Yes, I believe there is still hope as long one valiant heart pulls out thorns from others rather than plunging them in. Those who see the Light of Easter also see by it as well.

    I believe you are right: hope lives on in the individual's heart. Society is too sprawling and self-interested for it to be healing.

    “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and murderers, and for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall. Think of it-

    ― Mahatma Gandhi

  8. Milo:
    Yes, the bunny is fluffy; the empty grave is healing. Have a healing Easter.

  9. I too agree with Donna and DG in that the human race should set their own moral compass.

    And many a good man/woman/animal have left this earth bloody and broken. The pain of suffering is simply unbearable to me at times.

    Whatever you may do this weekend, enjoy Roland!

  10. Wendy:
    This is a broken world filled with broken people sadly. May this new week find you happy and well! :-)

  11. A thoughtful, relevant post, Roland. I've always said, it's not what we believe, but how we believe that makes us who we are. Christian, Muslim, Jew, Wiccan, Pantheist, it doesn't matter what label we slap on ourselves. It's how we live our lives that matters. I am not Christian but try live by Christian ideals: kindness, goodness, love, joy, peace, forbearance, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. I don't need Easter to remind me what's important. Faith, kindness, tolerance and respect for others will always be relevant, but organized religion? It's a tool used by the power-hungry to justify hate, abuse, and intolerance—history has proven that again and again.

  12. VR:
    An insightful response. In the septic tank of organizations: whether religious, political, or business - the biggest chunks rise to the top it seems.

    The mob instinct rules in organization, and the humanity in each soul withers within those who are members.

    What we do is what we believe. If you are loving, kind, and generous, that is what you believe in: that those qualities are of worth and that individuals are of worth no matter their status.

    That is why I do not call myself a religious man: religion has corrupted Man not redeemed him.

    I believe that specified days like Christmas & Easter help re-focus our eyes on the spirit of love and giving that the world so often overlooks in the pursuit of the brass ring.

    I believe God gave us Sunday, knowing that we would work ourselves to death without a day of rest.

    Always an interesting reply from you. :-) Happy New Week, Roland

  13. Thank you, Roland. Your post boldly pronounced that Jesus Christ is our Savior, that we need to fix our hope in Him, and live to demonstrate our faith.

    This world is lost. People think that their own inner strength is enough. Believing in yourself as your own savior--it is a lie planted, designed to deceive and lull people into eternal death.

    Thank you for this post, this song, and for your courage. Susan

  14. Happy Easter, Susan:
    Inner strength always fails because we are finite. Faith is that whisper that your life is in the Hand of He who sang your soul into being.

    The way is often dark. It can be frightening when the path is black and unknown. I find sufficient illumination to take that next step by tapping into the words of He who is the Light.

    I wrote of whom I believe, knowing that each of us sees the world around us differently. May this new week have you feel the Father's Presence supporting you. :-)

  15. Wow, what a post, Roland. I wish I was as eloquent with words as you and as wise. Then, I think I might catch somebody's attention and turn their thoughts to the truth. I'm clumsy with words, but I'll keep trying to win people over for Christ. In one of your comments, you mentioned it takes courage to say we're believers in this world. You're 100% right, and if I'm honest, sometimes the fear beats me, and I miss out on opportunities for God to speak through me. Of course, we know there's no fear in perfect love, so we don't have to guess where it comes from. I can't tell you how relieved I was to see your comment on my post. Finding another believer, always gives me hope. I just wish we'd all come out of our shells. We are supposed to love and not judge, but that doesn't mean we have to be silent. Even if we whisper, who knows what God will have us say?!? Sorry for the long comment, lol, but really, reading this was like having my heart wrapped in a warm blanket. Thank you. :)

  16. Celeste:
    You are welcome to reply for as long as you want!

    I understand how cold it is for believers out in the sophistacated, unbelieving world. To be a servant of God in a world that no longer honors him is often a path marked with mockery and demeaning attitudes -- but no less so than the path walked by the One who made the very souls mocking and demeaning Him.

    I am not wise -- most times I am otherwise! :-) I am glad you got something healing out of my post. If you did, it was from He whose love is directed upon us both. :-)