Sunday, April 20, 2014

Redemption and Resurrection in 2014

Today is both Easter and Passover, and it seems to me that both deserve a moment’s reflection about their meaning in my life.

We are at the part of the Passover holiday where we are not only still celebrating the exodus from Egypt and the deliverance from slavery to freedom, but also the part where we light a candle on the last night for those we lost who came before us and whom we wish to call to mind as the holiday draws to a close.

Sometimes random memories pop into my mind, and this morning, as I was driving to go sing at a spiritual service (neither Christian nor Jewish), I remembered being a young child in Hebrew school and asking the Rabbi if Jews believed in resurrection. Looking back, that had to seem at least a little bit odd a thing for a little kid to ask. When he told me that Judaism did indeed believe in resurrection, it came as a relief to me, because evidently my mind was already made up about this and I would hate to have been a heretic at the ripe old age of ten.

So we rise again. But what about now? In what ways are we enslaved, to what and to whom? From what do we seek deliverance? In what ways have we been betrayed and crucified, and in what ways have we betrayed and crucified others? These are not the easy questions to be asking, but what better day to ask them?

What would we like to leave behind and what would we take with us? What can we let die, and what needs to be reborn within us?

When I light a candle for those I miss, I will say a prayer that the best qualities they had live on in me. And as I move forward, I do so with a willingness to let go of blame so I can embody forgiveness, a willingness to let go of judgment so I can embody compassion, a willingness to let go of fear so I can embody love, and a willingness to let go of all that does not serve my highest good so I can embrace and embody all that does serve my highest good.

Whatever your faith or your custom this Easter and Passover Sunday, I wish you peace in your heart and an abiding knowing that you are loved and enough.