Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Greetings

We really have had an amazing trip thus far. If our trip finished tomorrow, we really would be able to call it a trip of a lifetime. Of course, we still have another eight months left on this adventure, all being well! Without naming names (there are too many) we can dole out the title salt of the earth to most of the people we have met along the way. More than any single aspect of this trip, our friends have been the brightest beacons for us in looking back so far. There have also been a few unsavoury characters along the way, too. Some of them we have written about in the blog and some we haven't.

It is really upsetting to knowingly be on the receiving end of a blatantly dishonest act. Or, to be spoken to everyday like you have absolutely zero worth apart from what is in your wallet is particularly grinding. Outright verbal abuse, no matter what language its in, is stressful to endure and just plain awful. Sometimes it can get too stressful and you want to pop. We've sometimes felt that way, anyway. Returning the favour can be a very tempting thought. For this person or that situation it seems the circumstances are extraordinary and the tenet of turning the other cheek no longer fits the bill. Your tune easily and angrily changes to an eye for an eye. After all, that person doesn't appear to deserve anything different or anything less.

The Easter story, however, says something quite different. It says that God has refused to discount the intrinsic worth of every person in the human community. It also says that an unshakeable commitment to every human person has been made and that it takes shape in Jesus the Nazorean. Of course, believing what the Easter story points towards is a matter of trust. But I wouldn't rush to call it a blind trust, though. If it were, I suspect very few people would bother making baptismal commitments. But every year, particularly at Easter Vigil services, people around the world do get baptized. And what they are saying in being baptized is that, "Yes, I trust there is a deeper purpose for me and for all people and that I want to explore this broader horizon that the Easter story sets before me."

Despite saying that there is, in fact, a built-in dignity to be honoured in every person, Easter by no means suggests that this is always an easy commitment to keep. After all there can't be Easter without the sometimes difficult journey there. Holy Week is a stark reminder of that. And this is the all-inclusive package that Easter offers. Of course there are people who can be depressing or frustrating to be around. With dreadful efficiency they can obscure every bit of their "built-in dignity." But they are no less important and no less loved by God than is a Mother Theresa or a Francis of Assisi. Indeed, Easter is an invitation into hope and into something fresh, but it is also (and equally) a challenge to committedly and lovingly look at all human people, annoying and saintly, as God does.

Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!


Parentals said...

Spreading the Easter message - of hope and joy is not as easy as it would seem. Your experience in different cultures helps to confirm the challenge of bringing the peace of Jesus to our broken world. Doesn't mean we ever give up though. God Bless as you continue to journey and look for signs of hope and joy in all peoples.
Happy Easter!

Emily said...

what a touching entry! some people make it really difficult, others you're instantly in love - like the moment i discovered a light-humoured study-buddy in an otherwise nauseatingly boring intro to socio class. funny too cause i just finished a blog entry and it's sort of along the same lines, though i'm just reading yours right now - i wonder if it does have something to do with the foreigner experience?? big hugs and happy easter to you two!