In December I wrote about how we tell The Christmas Story in our family. These are important stories that shape our culture. We want our kids to know them; to know the story, what we think of the story, and that this is a pivot ol story for many people out there. I believe that this kind of religious education is the basis for my kids having a sense of respect for all the many paths toward The Divine.
We've started out with Christmas and Easter because they are visible; those fill the stores with much desired candy and gimcracks. Also they are the traditions that are familiar to Papa-Bug and me. I'm looking forward to exploration and deepening understanding of other cultural and religious traditions as we get older. I'm not really looking forward to explains religious wars, but hopefully we can do so with grace and respect…
The challenge is to tell these stories in ways that are respectful, but also true for our family. We have great respect for the teachings of Jesus (among others) and celebrate the hard work he did toward a more peaceful planet. We don't believe that Jesus is the only path to The Divine, but honor people who do believe that. It's a tricky balancing act, and we might be screwing it up. But my hope is that what they see and learn is not so much the story, but parents who want to teach a message of Love and respect.
When Jesus was a grown man he became a great teacher. He travelled and taught people about being close to God and The Divine. He taught that everyone deserves love and respect; that everyone is a child of The Divine. He taught that we should not judge and that we should Love each other no matter what. This message was really scary to some of the powerful people of the time.
The powerful people took Jesus and tried him in a court and decided that they were too scared of his message and that Jesus should die. All of the people who loved Jesus and believed the message of Love were very, very sad. Jesus told them not to be too sad, that this was all a part of the Love and was a chance for everyone to learn something new. He told them not to be angry at the powerful people, but to take this opportunity to show all the people how to always act in a loving way, no matter what.
Jesus died on a Friday, and magic started to happen. On Sunday morning his family and friends went to where his body had been laid, but his body was not there. They were scared and confused, but Jesus came to them looking like a living person, like he had never been killed. He told his friends and family that The Divine had brought him back for a short time so that all the people could learn that death would not stop Love. Love lives on and on as long a we believe in it and send it out into the world.
No matter what happens, it's all about the Love.
We will have Easter baskets, and egg hunts, and enjoy the day. We will also teach our story, and hope that seeds of Love take root and keep growing and growing in our kids.
Happy Easter. May Love reign.