06 April 2007

Good Friday

I am not much of a Christian, at least by the world's usual definition, but it is hard to imagine being brought up in a Christian society and not having a little twinge of something in your heart on Good Friday.

I look at the story not as a grand Christian truth, but rather as a story of someone who has been betrayed by his best friends, falsely accused, taken beyond the limits of his endurance for cruelty and pain. We can all relate, I think, to "his moment of doubt and pain," feeling utterly alone, bereft, unsure of the way ahead.

Yet somehow Jesus is supposed to have known that the way ahead was good. That even the worst things could be overcome, and overcome spectacularly. So I see the message of the crucifixion not as one of pain, but ultimately of hope.

A Course in Miracles backs me up. When the text says "God's son" or "the Son of God," it is talking about everyone. You, me, everybody. Everybody.

Let us not spend this holy week brooding on the crucifixion of God's Son, but happily in the celebration of his release. For Easter is the sign of peace, not pain. A slain Christ has no meaning. But a risen Christ becomes the symbol of the Son of God's forgiveness on himself; the sign he looks upon himself as healed and whole.

This week begins with palms and ends with lilies, the white and holy sign the Son of God is innocent. Let no dark sign of crucifixion intervene between the journey and its purpose; between the acceptance of the truth and its expression. This week we celebrate life, not death.

And we honor the perfect purity of the Son of God, and not his sins. Offer your brother the gift of lilies, not the crown of thorns; the gift of love and not the "gift" of fear.

You stand beside your brother, thorns in one hand and lilies in the other, uncertain which to give. Join now with me and throw away the thorns, offering the lilies to replace them. This Easter I would have the gift of your forgiveness offered by you to me, and returned by me to you. We cannot be united in crucifixion and in death. Nor can the resurrection be complete till your forgiveness rests on Christ, along with mine.
Remember. Everybody.

04 April 2007

Today's Project

Dear Ramon,

You seem like a nice guy. I kind of wish you were a jerk.

I am sorry, but I am my father's daughter, which means I am a car salesman's worst nightmare. I am not going to be an easy sale. I am not going to fall in love with a car and "have to have it today." I am not going to discuss how much I have to spend. I am not going to tell you if I have a trade in, a down payment, or a loan pre-approval.

I am not going to give you my phone number or address "for insurance purposes." I am not going to sit down with you for a minute. I am not going to come inside.

I am going to see if my dog fits in the new Toyota Matrix by letting her jump up into your brand-new car, muddy boots and all. She fits! Yay.

I am also going to take the car on a test drive and see what happens when I floor it (not much) or take corners a little too sharply (does it always rattle like that?)

I am stubborn and obstinate, Ramon. But be glad. I'm only the daughter. You can call my dad if you want to see how bad it COULD be. Oh, I have stories. Do you want to hear about the time he walked out of a dealership because of an $11 charge that got tacked on at the end? My apple is resting right up against the trunk of that tree.

Here's the truly sad part: I am quite sure I am not going to buy a car from you. Have you heard of CarsDirect.com? Oooh, ouch, don't wince like that. I am sure someone, someday, will come along and buy a car from you.

But thanks for the test drive. The Matrix is off my list, by the way. Maybe I will come back tomorrow and check out the Scion.

03 April 2007

Why is this night different from all other nights?

I made both Sephardic and Ashkenazi food for church on Sunday. It was my turn to bring snacks and I figured, since two of my favorite Unity ministers, Richard Levy and Leona Evans were Jewish, (Unity is cool that way) I should honor Passover. That, and I had the Sundays at Moosewood Cookbook out.

Then I started thinking about Passover and wondering what the story was all about. I found this:

About 3000 years ago the Israelites were enslaved by the Egyptians under the rule of the Pharaoh Ramses II. According to the Book of Exodus - Moses, a simple Jewish shepherd, was instructed by G-d to go to the pharaoh and demand the freedom of his people

Moses' plea of let my people go was ignored. Moses warned the Pharaoh that G-d would send severe punishments to the people of Egypt if the Israelites were not freed. Again the Pharaoh ignored Moses' request of freedom. In response G-d unleashed a series of 10 terrible plagues on the people of Egypt

1. Blood
2. Frogs
3. Lice (vermin)
4. Wild Beasts(flies)
5. Blight (Cattle Disease)
6. Boils
7. Hail
8. Locusts
9. Darkness
10. Slaying of the First Born

That G_d!! What a prankster he was.
So the Jews marked their houses with the blood of lambs (don't ask) weren't killed and escaped with their lives and some unrisen dough, which they thankfully made matzoh out of.

3000 years later we get brisket for you non-vegetarians and matzoh brei and other good stuff for us vegs. For church, I made a frittata de espinacas (kinda like a spinach quiche) and a really cool cheese blintz casserole. And the people pronounced it good.

Happy Passover to all my Jewish readers. There's Suzanne, Amy and half of Christina. Anybody else?
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