Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Good morning!  Easter Blessings to everyone.  It has been a busy couple of weeks as we moved from Palm Sunday through Holy Week to Good Friday and Easter.  This cycle always brings us face to face with the two central metaphors of the Christian story, namely death and resurrection.  In the 21st century we are called upon to rethink these terms in the same way in which we approached the "churchy" words in previous weeks.  In some ways 'explaining' the death and resurrection of Christ requires cautious effort as the mystical and historical significance of these events cannot easily be reduced to a modern interpretation.  There is something that will always remain holy mystery in this story.  I did attempt; however; to bring some modern interpretation to these events in recent sermons.  On Good Friday I sought to hold up the wisdom that can come to us when we encounter death.  Despite the ensuing grief and heartache that death brings, it does place life in perspective.  This was true for Jesus as well and it was interesting to note - borrowing an idea from Barbara Brown-Taylor - that Jesus died as he lived: forgiving, compassionate and trusting in the Love of God.  Easter Sunday presented an opportunity to consider the resurrection of hope in the midst of death-dealing situations.  Death is thought to be the ultimate weapon of forces of oppression yet resurrection suggests that the force of Love can push beyond death to continue to inspire hope and change.  If you have a chance to look at (or read) the sermons I would be interested in your response.  Happy Easter week!


  1. Hi Brian
    I decided to try once again to leave a comment on the blog...we’ll see if it works on this attempt.
    I was moved by both the Good Friday and Easter Sunday services. I am one of those who disliked the Good Friday re hashing of Jesus death on the cross in light of knowing how the story ends with his resurrection. But your comments have me rethinking that. Your stories reminded me of my personal experience with my parents death...How much of a privilege and honor it felt to be with them in their death despite the challenge of loss and grief. And I appreciated the view of Jesus living as he died...forgiving, compassionate, trusting...the power of love in action.
    As a result of my recent trip to the Haven, I pulled out the book Denial of Death by Ernest Becker and have been trying to read/understand his perspective on our fear of death and subsequent attempt to deny it. It was interesting to see some of the same themes of my life in the Friday service as well. What I am currently pondering is Morrie’s comment on learning to die creating the capacity to learn to live...Im not sure what that learning to die might look like.
    And the examples about the force of love pushing beyond death to inspire hope and change inspire me as well to pick myself up, dust myself off and face again the barriers I see/experience in the world...coming from a place of Love within and around me.
    Blessings to you and your thoughtful and moving words.
    Brenda Goossen

  2. Thank you for these heartfelt reflections Brenda. There is such a powerful metaphor in the Good Friday/Easter event and it surely speaks to every persons who ponders it long enough. I think what Morrie is trying to say is that if we allow ourselves to know the finite nature of life we will live more fully in each moment. Perhaps the summary of that is to push back against the death-denial influences in our society. This means being aware of our mortality but obviously not becoming obsessed by it. It appears that you are doing some important thinking on this topic and others might benefit from your insights if you would consider offering a Sunday morning "two minute" reflection.

    Thanks again - and congrats on being persistent with the technology!