Why we celebrate Easter.

The following is an excerpt from The Season After Easter – A Magnificent Eucatastrophe!

“A eucatastrope, said Tolkien, is “the joy in a sudden glimpse of the underlying reality or truth.” Quite simply, a good ending not expected. Surely, to the frightened apostles on Good Friday, this was the meaning of the resurrection, and likewise for us, the “good ending unexpected” of Easter ought not be shut away as one might save a basket for next year.

To know the joy of the resurrection, we must hold fast to the significance of Christ’s death beyond the weeks we recite the stations of the cross. Christ’s death is not mere historical fact — the tale of an heroically good man standing up to the injustices of the world and being crushed for his trouble. This is a compelling and instructive story line, but it is also an incomplete accounting of the faith.

To say that Jesus died because those in power ordered him killed does not reveal the great truth of his death. We come closer when we say that Jesus died for our sins and in fulfillment of God’s plan of salvation. But even this falls short either because it is too glib or because it leaves us baffled how any father, let alone Our Father, would give a son over to the profound suffering of the crucifixion. What’s more, our own mind revolts at the notion of an innocent man being punished for the transgressions of others.

Tolkein’s contemporary and friend, C.S. Lewis, reminds us in “Mere Christianity” that Jesus was not being punished in a retributive sense, but in the sense of generously paying a debt or footing a bill – our bill. The debt we incur each time we assert that we belong to ourselves.

This rebellion of spirit of course began with Adam and Eve, but it continues for each of us in every act of selfishness or self will. Our self-conceit is all the worse because it is made in the face of the infinite abundance of God’s gift of life and creation to which we have no entitlement. All humanity was greatly “in the hole,” as Lewis would say, with no way out.

The debt that Jesus assumed for us was frankly beyond our capacities to fulfill. And if we think about it, were it not for the incarnation, beyond God’s. It was not in God’s Divine nature to spurn, as we spurned, unmerited gifts of love. He could do it only by assuming our nature and then by dying unto it. Only then would the debt be repaid.

So in these days after Easter, let us not understate the significance of passion, death, and resurrection. Most of all, let us not run up a new debt. We do that by putting undo emphasis upon the next success in material things; we do that when we constantly demand to be entertained, rather than accepting the day for what it brings or taking time to find the peace of prayer or the spiritual refreshment of simply being of comfort to others; we do that when we presume we can make do without the help of others; and most of all, we do that when we extend our love only on condition.

The Easter season continues. It does not end on Easter Sunday. It is a eucatastrope! The resurrection is the eucatastrophe of the story of the incarnation. A story in Christ Jesus that, as Tolkien observed, begins and ends with joy, if we open ourselves to it.

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AP Photos and video still frames taken from Sep-Aug 2006 inside Lebanon after bombing.

Red Cross Ambulence bombed in Lebanon 2006 AP photoWhat happened here? why? AP Photo why?Beirut Bombed 2006 AP photoBeirut 2006 summer, why? AP Photobaby refugee Lebanon 2006 AP photowriting a letter with a smile and parent's approval Lebanon bombing 2006, AP photoisreali children with parent, marker, bombs? AP photo 2006praying by a tank? Lebanon 2006 AP photIsreali soldiers in Lebanon 2006 AP photo? Lebanon 2006 AP photogrieving mother, Lebanon 2006 AP photoBaby, Lebanon 2006 AP photolost son for what? Lebanon 2006 AP photoa line up, Lebanon 2006 AP photoMass Grave, Lebanon 2006, AP photomass grave2 Lebanon 2006 AP photonablus ministry in Lebanon 2006, AP photocasualty of war, Lebanon 2006 AP photojust cause? Lebanon 2006 AP photowhat did my son do? Lebanon 2006 AP photomy daughter! Lebanon 2006, AP photoA precious child of God. Lebanon 2006, AP photowhy God? Lebanon 2006, AP photowhy? Lebanon 2006, AP photowhy? Lebanon 2006, AP photowhy did this happen? AP photo Lebanon 2006

Photo: Young Girls sign bombs used in 2006 bombing of Lebanon: “To Jazrala Whit love, from Israel and Daniele.” with drawing of israel’s flag for good measure. Luke 23:34: “…Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do…” –Jesus Christ

Child writing Child writing says,
The following are the words of Jesus Christ from Mt. v. 43:
“In the former law it was said: “Do good to men of your own nation, and do evil to strangers.” But I tell you, love not only your own countrymen, but people of other nations. Let strangers hate you, let them fall upon you, wrong you; but you speak well of them, and do them good. If you are only attached to your countrymen, why, all men are thus attached to their own countrymen, and hence wars arise. Behave equally towards men of all nations, and you will be sons of the Father. All men are his children and therefore all brothers to you.”
-Jesus Christ

These are the words of Christ in Lk. vi. 45:
“…if teachers teach you to do to others that which is bad for yourselves, -teach violence, execution, wars- know that they are false teachers.” -Jesus Christ

AP photo of child killede by bomb signed by children of another nation

These are the words of Jesus Christ in Lk. vi. 40:
“Those who judge, and condemn others to violent treatment, wounds, mutilation, or death, wish to correct them, but what can come of their teaching except that the pupils will learn to become just like their teacher? What then will they do when they have learnt the lesson? Only what their teacher does: violence and murder.”-Jesus Christ
“There are many causes I am prepared to die for but no causes I am prepared to kill for.” –Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi“The Truth is far more powerful than any weapon of mass destruction.” –Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.” –Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi(Click here for a link to Tolstoy’s The Kingdom of Heaven is Within You, a very interesting book concerning Christian Pacifism and the teachings of Christ,Also, The Gospel in Brief by Tolstoy as well, is a very good introduction into the moral teachings of Christ and is one of the best ways for one to clearly and easily understand the key teachings of Jesus Christ as laid out in the Gospels of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John; it also contains cross references to multiple gospels for each event and key lesson taught by Christ to Christians.

(see Mathew 5:44 -” But I say to you, (A)love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”)

On Luke 23:34: According to the gospel this request for his persecutors’ forgiveness (and some would say for the forgiveness of the sins of all of mankind) was Jesus Christ’s first saying as he hung nailed to a crucifixion cross at Calvary. We can only hope that Christ’s request for forgiveness was granted that day and similarly forgive our fellow man each day of our lives.

“Don’t Taze me Bro!” Watch video of University of Florida student journalist, Andrew Meyer, being Tasered for asking US Senator John Kerry the wrong question at a school Q and A session.

See Video by pressing play here:

Mr. Andrew Meyer, a University of Florida student journalist, was handcuffed and tasered after asking Senator John Kerry some questions during a structured Q and A session following Kerry’s speech in Gainesville on September 17, 2007.Wire Services report that Senator Kerry released a statement about the event on Tuesday, saying:

“In 37 years of public appearances, through wars, protests and highly emotional events, I have never had a dialogue end this way.” Kerry said. “I hope that neither the student nor any of the police were injured. I regret enormously that a good healthy discussion was interrupted.”

Jesus Christ on the evils of Nationalism and War:

“In the former law it was said: “Do good to men of your own nation, and do evil to strangers.” But I tell you, love not only your own countrymen, but people of other nations. Let strangers hate you, let them fall upon you, wrong you; but you speak well of them, and do them good. If you are only attached to your countrymen, why, all men are thus attached to their own countrymen, and hence wars arise. Behave equally towards men of all nations, and you will be sons of the Father. All men are his children and therefore all brothers to you.” -Jesus Christ (Mt. v. 43)
(Click here for a link to Tolstoy’s The Kingom of Heaven is Within You, then read it, then readThe Gospel in Brief by Tolstoy as well Thank you.)

I feel refreshed. Thank you God. Remeber the Lotus. Protect your purity of heart. God loves you and appreciates your efforts everyday.

“Blessed are the pure in heart,” said Jesus, “for they shall see God.”local lotus!

Yesterday I had a very cathartic venting of irrational anger and frustration. Afterwards, I ‘woke up’ and remembered how completely foolish it is to allow one’s self to be overcome with ingratitude and frustration based on the words or actions of others and one’s own shortsighted judgment. That thought liberated me from the things that had been keeping me tense and depressed; I realized only a fool could be so blessed and still feel overwhelmed with frustration, anger, and resentment.

Feeling as I did in light of all that I’ve been given smacked of ingratitude and when I realized just how ungrateful my attitude had become, I was embarrassed and ashamed of myself. I am better than that, I am more full of integrity, caring, and honesty than I have ever been in my life, and for that I will always be thankful to the people who I have been blessed to have in my life and who have helped me develop the strong character and morals that have allowed me to succeed in my life.

Writing that down felt really good.

It is pure joy to think of how lucky I am and how far I am going as I continue to follow my path as Jesus Christ continues to reveal it.

Thank God. I think I am the luckiest man on Earth.

The meaning of the lotus in relation to Shri-Lakshmi refers to purity and spiritual power. Rooted in the mud but blossoming above the water, completely uncontaminated by the mud, the lotus represents spiritual perfection and authority.

Lotus flower: Symbol of Spiritual Unfoldment

I am going to revisit my favorite part of the Bible, “The Beatitudes,” and then I’m going to bed.

From Wikipedia: “The Beatitudes (from Latin, beatitudo, happiness) is the beginning portion of the Sermon on the Mount of the Gospel of Matthew. Some are also recorded in the Gospel of Luke. In the section, Jesus describes the qualities of the inhabitants of the Kingdom of heaven and indicates how each is or will be blessed. The Beatitudes do not describe many separate individuals, but rather all the specific characteristics each must have to experience heaven. Biblical scholar and author Andrej Kodjak has stated that this opening of the sermon was designed to shock the audience as a deliberate inversion of standard values, but this shock value has been lost today due to the commonness of the text.[1]