April 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm Leave a comment

Easter Monday as my wife, Muffin, and I returned from a friend’s house after our favourite roast lamb dinner, we drove past a church that emphatically proclaimed on its sign “Jesus is Alive!” I shook my head in dismay. These guys just didn’t get it. If they had said, “Christ is Alive!” I wouldn’t have had to shake my head. So what’s the difference you ask?

The Easter story is Christianity’s most important lesson. It focuses on the imperfection of humanity and how imperfection leads to death, yet even in death, there is always hope. Our body, the container of that spark or spirit that makes us alive will die and decay one day no matter what. Thinking Christians know that one day everyone will physically die and when we die, we don’t go to a place above the clouds with golden streets, mansions and see all our dead relatives. Progressive Christians also know there is no place down below with constant fire and torment overseen by a guy in black with horns and a long spear-pointed tail. In physical death, the Spirit simply separates from its container and returns from where it came. The death we actually fear is the death of a creation that’s meant to be a happy, peaceful and harmonious society. Due to our imperfections, that harmonious world is hard, maybe even impossible, to achieve, but we must always try. The resurrection part of the Easter Story teaches Christians that even in the darkest of hours, there is always hope, symbolized by Jesus raised from the dead.

A non-religious person learns from this story too, but first must recognise the metaphor. Non-religious types learn that the world we live in is a mess strictly through the faults inherent in humanity. Humans must struggle against these imperfections to make progress towards that intended harmonious world. But the good news is that there is a Great Unknown, of which that spark of perfection within us is a part. It never dies and thus there is always hope.

After much study of Christianity and religion I have come to the following conclusions. I’ll surely upset some apple carts but, so be it.

First: Jesus was just a real human who became enlightened after finding ‘The Spirit’. Jesus ‘the Christ’ means Jesus ‘the Anointed One’ meaning anointed with the Spirit. Just like Gandhi who became known as ‘the Mahatma’ meaning anointed with the Great Spirit or Great Soul.

Second: Jesus was simply killed for political reasons (like Gandhi). My sense is that his body was then discarded after death although it may have been claimed and buried by his wife Mary (Magdalene). The burial, rolled away stone and subsequent appearance of Jesus to his followers on the road to Emmaus is metaphoric fiction to teach us that while the body (Jesus) may be dead and gone, the Creating Spirit (Christ) within us always lives on so there is always hope.

The Good News is that the Christ spark within us is eternal, and that makes all of us one, and each one, a small part of that Creating Spark that Christians call God. All creation together is “God”. We are God.

So, can you see why the church sign proclaiming, ‘Jesus is Alive!’ is wrong? Jesus is dead and gone. However, ‘Christ’ is Alive! means “God’s Spirit’ within us is alive and always will be. And that’s right.

 

Peace

© Dave Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011

Easter Monday as my wife, Muffin, and I returned from a friend’s house after our favourite roast lamb dinner, we drove past a church that emphatically proclaimed on its sign “Jesus is Alive!” I shook my head in dismay. These guys just didn’t get it. If they had said, “Christ is Alive!” I wouldn’t have had to shake my head. So what’s the difference you ask?

 

The Easter story is Christianity’s most important lesson. It focuses on the imperfection of humanity and how imperfection leads to death, yet even in death, there is always hope. Our body, the container of that spark or spirit that makes us alive will die and decay one day no matter what. Thinking Christians know that one day everyone will physically die and when we die, we don’t go to a place above the clouds with golden streets, mansions and see all our dead relatives. Progressive Christians also know there is no place down below with constant fire and torment overseen by a guy in black with horns and a long spear-pointed tail. In physical death, the Spirit simply separates from its container and returns from where it came. The death we actually fear is the death of a creation that’s meant to be a happy, peaceful and harmonious society. Due to our imperfections, that harmonious world is hard, maybe even impossible, to achieve, but we must always try. The resurrection part of the Easter Story teaches Christians that even in the darkest of hours, there is always hope, symbolized by Jesus raised from the dead.

 

A non-religious person learns from this story too, but first must recognise the metaphor. Non-religious types learn that the world we live in is a mess strictly through the faults inherent in humanity. Humans must struggle against these imperfections to make progress towards that intended harmonious world. But the good news is that there is a Great Unknown, of which that spark of perfection within us is a part. It never dies and thus there is always hope.

 

After much study of Christianity and religion I have come to the following conclusions. I’ll surely upset some apple carts but, so be it.

 

First: Jesus was just a real human who became enlightened after finding ‘The Spirit’. Jesus ‘the Christ’ means Jesus ‘the Anointed One’ meaning anointed with the Spirit. Just like Gandhi who became known as ‘the Mahatma’ meaning anointed with the Great Spirit or Great Soul.

 

Second: Jesus was simply killed for political reasons (like Gandhi). My sense is that his body was then discarded after death although it may have been claimed and buried by his wife Mary (Magdalene). The burial, rolled away stone and subsequent appearance of Jesus to his followers on the road to Emmaus is metaphoric fiction to teach us that while the body (Jesus) may be dead and gone, the Creating Spirit (Christ) within us always lives on so there is always hope.

 

The Good News is that the Christ spark within us is eternal, and that makes all of us one, and each one, a small part of that Creating Spark that Christians call God. All creation together is “God”. We are God.

 

So, can you see why the church sign proclaiming, ‘Jesus is Alive!’ is wrong? Jesus is dead and gone. However, ‘Christ’ is Alive! means “God’s Spirit’ within us is alive and always will be. And that’s right.

 

 

 

Peace

 

© Dave Jones/ Thunderbridge Productions 2011

 

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