Easter for a (former) Christian…

wine and matzah...
wine and matzah…

On Monday Heather and I went to a Passover Seder. Even though I’m not Jewish, I found it powerful to be in solidarity with my friend, her culture, her friends and others around the world in remembering slavery, hardship, and the promise of a brighter future. She used a special haggadah (telling) focused on social action and solidarity with love and justice. I learned from various guests about differences in the Jewish community, their faith and family traditions, and shared (non)traditional food and drink. It was amazing!

Last night we went to a Maundy Thursday communion service held at our church. It was sparse; only a few dozen people. We listened to biblical readings, commemorated the Last Supper through wine and bread, and stood in solidarity with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. It was solemn and intimate; such a stark contrast to the rowdy Seder we experienced only a few days before. But the Christian holy week is supposed to be muted. We walk with a man sentenced to death because his beliefs challenged those in power.

circle-wise-women-full-lighted-KE-12096After the communion service, we attended a candlelight vigil for a young woman who was hit by a car in our neighborhood. Her story is tragic. It was a senseless accident which robbed a father of his only daughter. They lived just a few blocks away from us and we felt we should stand silently with the Nepalese family. Once again, we were reminded that this week especially is a time of mourning and remembering. It is a time where community comes together because life has become too much.

Even though I no longer qualify as a Christian, I would be dishonest to not participate in this religious time of year. Christianity is a part of my history, my journey, and will remain part of my future. The Judeo-Christian tradition holds powerful truths; its essays and stories of humanity struggling with identity, definition, relationship and the unknown are timeless. It is also controversial, especially in a Unitarian Universalist congregation.

One love; nobody left behind...
One love; nobody left behind…

My church is filled with religious refugees. A lot of my brothers and sisters have been hurt by Christianity. They were kicked out of their homes for being gay; they were told they were going to hell because they didn’t read the bible the same way; they were told they were evil and sinful for just being human. Of course only a few of us would show up to a Holy Thursday communion service. For many, this time of year is too painful. For others, it is meaningless.

Yet for me, the communion service was powerful. The Seder was powerful. This time of year is powerful. I’ve heard more than one person describe this as a “thin” time where spiritual life and daily life become intertwined and we have the opportunity to better interact with god/nature/earth/spirit. Because of my history, I have no choice but to sink into this thinness and let myself steep in the spirit of Jesus, the Hebrew prophets, the saints and the apostles. By participating in these Jewish/Christian days, I commemorate where I came from. I mourn for what I have lost. I am reminded of why I changed. I embrace where I have set my spiritual future.

Easter blessings...
Easter blessings from Seattle…

Many people in my church wouldn’t agree with my Easter experience; but almost all of them would support it. I found a community which can say “beyond our ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. Let us walk there together.” Nothing says more about this time of year than that.

A (Facebook) look back…

Day 6: Publish a Post the Includes a New Element

This is part of the UU Blogging Workshops’s Zero to Hero Series

Today’s Assignment: publish a post that includes a new-to-you element.

The biggest rage on the facespace these days is “A Look Back” feature they’ve rolled out. It’s a video that aggregates your likes and photos into an “intelligent” 1 minute music video. I have to say, mine turned out pretty well. However, I will admit that my wife shows up more than I do. lol I suppose that’s love.

One good (or bad) aspect of being part of social media is that I can track all the insane boring happenings of my daily life in detail. Nothing is lost; just hidden in the past and waiting to be rediscovered. When Heather and I finally have kids, their whole lives will most likely be digitally stored for playback whenever they want. Baby pictures, YouTube videos, they will chronicle in 1080p the development of my kids until they create their own social media presence.

When I was younger, my parents would bust out the old photo albums (even better yet! Slide shows!) to teach us about friends and family history. Now I’ll just hand the kids a tablet with an interactive video/slide show/music video. Which is pretty cool. We’ve gone beyond the analog album and made nostalgia a multimedia experience.

But one of the downfalls of EVERYTHING being captured on social media; it’s harder to find the hidden gems of real greatness amid the big pile of crap. In the old family album, only the best of the best photos were included. Film was expensive and developing it was expensive and photoshop didn’t exist… so there was a preciousness to the picture. It was an artifact with history and power. Now the good is mixed all around with the bad and even worse, the irrelevant.

My kids will look back on my timeline years from now and most likely use it as proof of how boring dad is. “How many pictures of beer can you take?” will probably be the tween comment.

So, without further ado….