Easter…It’s interesting for me, being born and raised an Evangelical Christian, but now being a Spiritual Seeker best labeled, “spiritual, but not religious” at this point.
Try as I might, I’ve not been able to make myself fit into Christendom, and in the past year I got sick of trying.
I feel odd trying to put the Divine neatly in a box with a label. I’ve come to think of religions as different paths to the same place, or, to quote Death Cab for Cutie, “different names for the same thing.”
Looking back, even in childhood, this was the case. This was my visceral feeling while listening to Sunday School teachers and the pastor speak about how Christianity was the only way and that everyone else would go to Hell because they didn’t believe in the miracle of Easter: that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected, then ascended to be with God the Father. Of course, back then, I quickly squelched the thought, lest I go to Hell, too.
So what am I left to do with Easter? I live in the Bible Belt. I’ve been receiving heavily religious e-cards in my email, and many of my friends’ Facebook statuses are remarking upon the miracle of the holiday. I have no doubt that they’re sincere, at least in the status messages. However, those who know me at all know I’m no little Miss Becky Baptist, as much of my family is (of various stripes, including Southern Baptist, just Baptist, Primitive Baptist, and, unofficially, Baptacostal).
At least this year I didn’t have to sit through a rousing sermon designed to get us sinners up to the altar. My parents were gone, taking my sister back to her university as she came home for Easter weekend and they would rather skip Easter services than drive I-75 in heavy traffic.
I was at least relieved to find I’m not the only one who is finding herself to be less-than-enthusiastic or at loose ends about Easter. In fact, it was in reading that post that I was able to begin formulating words for this post.
I look at Jesus now as a historical figure, as a spiritual teacher, and as a symbolic myth, but I no longer take all his story as recorded in the Bible as literal fact. While I’ve been home alone most of this beautiful day, I’ve been pondering peace. One of the names for Jesus in the Bible and in hymns and religious writings of various time periods is The Prince of Peace, and our world could certainly use some about now, and I need to cultivate peace within myself, for that matter. I also wish I could love humanity at large as much as it seems he did…Something else I should work on.
Too, I’ve been looking at all the beautiful flowers that have come up in our yard of their own accord, lying seemingly dead in the ground all winter, and resurrected now in the spring.
So, for me, Easter has been about cultivating peace and love and watching nature’s resurrection. I’ve been listening to music, relaxing, watching movies, and even had a promising idea for a story/novel seemingly fall out of the sky and into my lap.
For fun, my Alternate Easter playlist, or, What a Recovering-Evangelical-cum-Spiritual-Seeker listens to on Easter: