Wednesday, April 11, 2007


In an article entitled "Easter for Those Who Don't Believe," former NJ Attorney General & Rutgers profesor John Farmer writes:

"For those of us who come up short, however, and for those who may not consider themselves Christian at all, there is much to learn from and celebrate in the Easter story, and it has little to do with idle speculation about what actually happened to Jesus of Nazareth.
It has to do with what the Easter story signifies: the transformative power of love in the universe. ...Perhaps humankind is not yet ready, in an evolutionary sense, to be capable of what Wills calls "self-emptying love." Perhaps we never will be.
Nothing could be clearer, however, than that the development of the capacity for this kind of love may be the only salvation for the world. The stakes in each confrontation are so much higher, and a very few people can poten tially kill millions. In Darwinian terms, the next adaptation essen tial to our survival will not be physical, but moral. "

That's pretty close to what I came up with this year for our congregation of mixed believers, non-believers, and fence sitters. Easter is incredibly challenging for UU Ministers! Many opt out with some stuff about flowers and Spring and all of that--as Garrison Keillor said on Saturday , "trying not to mention you-know-who."

We talked about superstition and about human courage & determination. I told a story of ancient times when people belived they could make the sun rise by pleasing the Sun gods/goddesses; I mentioned the Hebrew story of Esther and how her own courage helped her save her people from Hamans cruel plot of extermination; and then I told the Intergenerational group that Christianity took two paths after Jesus death & alleged resurrection--one became the religion ABOUT Jesus & the other (our spiritual ancestors) the religion OF Jesus. Yes, I mentioned "You-know-who," and a few members of the congreagtion wrote to thank me!!

I suggested that given the current state of the world, we'd all need to make some sacrifices and take some risks in order to have even a whisper of a chance to save our world. For me, a lapsed Anglican who was never traumatized by Christianity, the old stories still have power and meaning.

As a New Jersey native still loyal to "home," I am delighted that this very well-written article came from my old stomping grounds!