Sunday, April 24, 2011

It's in the Bible (Part 7)

***Disclaimer: If you want to get all you can out of this post, set aside some time.  There are some real gems.

Happy Easter, friends.  We started the day off by oversleeping and missing church.  So, we watched cartoons and ate Skittles and Reese’s peanut butter eggs for breakfast, which was certainly a spiritual experience of the highest order.
Part of me feels like I should write something about Easter, but let me give you a little insight into my psyche.  I believe he is risen EVERY day, and I believe in celebrating by living out Christ’s teachings EVERY day.  I understand the general population’s need to gather in a building, and that’s fine and all, but I just don’t get much from it.  Plus, I really hate arguing with my kids about wearing nice clothes when I don’t like getting dressed up for church either.
There’s a book called Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas that I read a few years ago (and then taught a class on later at a big Presbyterian conference) that really helped me understand why people have different ways of worshipping.  The book essentially outlines nine different pathways of worship.  Some people are “traditionalists,” for example--and these are the people who really LOVE getting up and fighting with their kids about putting on fancy dresses and clip-on ties so they can sit in the pews of a pretty building and sing the songs of their childhood during a service that revolves around words like “Eucharist” and “liturgy.”  One of my best friends, Leigh, has taught me to appreciate these people a lot more because she is one, and she’s still really, really cool.
I am not a traditionalist.  So, when I joke about not wanting to go to a church building to worship God, it’s not because I’m sacrilegious.  I just don’t find a deep connection with God in the traditional way.  In fact, when I sit in a building with stained-glass windows, I miss the sermon because I’m looking for patterns in the colors.  When we sing hymns from a hymnal, I get tired by the third verse and start sing “Watermelon cantaloupe watermelon cantaloupe...”
That’s not to say that my traditionalist friends don’t have a genuine spiritual experience in these types of services because (despite what my evangelical upbringing taught me), I’ve learned that God is present in the services of traditional denominations, and it’s not fair to assume that Presbyterians and Methodists and Episcopalians and Catholics are missing the point because they don’t speak in tongues or dance in the aisles.  There’s room at the table for all of us, friends.
(If you're interested in taking a little quiz to see what kind of pathway you're on, go HERE.)

This week, I asked Will if he knew what Easter meant.  He does, after all, attend a Methodist preschool and the week’s theme had been “Easter Holy Week” (as opposed to Insect Week, Dinosaur Week, and Sports Week the preceding weeks).  He told me, “Jesus died, and then he had an Easter egg hunt and came to life again.”
In his book Love Wins, Rob Bell says, “Jesus teaches again and again that the gospel is about a death that leads to life.  It’s a pattern, a truth, a reality that comes from losing your life, and then finding it.”  (You can read some more of my thoughts about this book HERE and then what Rob Bell said about all the criticism HERE.)  And that’s what Easter is about--this universal truth that everything must die for new life to begin.  It’s why we pet baby chicks and bunnies.  It’s why we spend our spring Saturday mornings cleaning out the closets and weeding the flower beds--out with the old, in with the new.  With blossoming tulips and green grass, we find life.
So whether Easter means a day to celebrate the resurrection of your Savior or the day before Walgreen’s puts all their chocolate on the 50% off shelf, let’s all celebrate--with chocolate and baked hams (please tell me you recognize the irony of an Easter ham) and egg hunts and family time.
If you’re like me, you’ll spend your evening in a food coma, while the kids bounce off the walls from their sugar highs, and you’ll sit down at the computer to waste some time.  Let me give you a few things to waste your time.  Think of these as my Easter gifts to you:

I don't know how I missed this when millions of other people were watching it, but this is for all those people who only go to church on Easter and Christmas.  It's all connected you know.  (Thanks, Lacy!)
I have this really great friend, Natalie, who is the ultimate webgemfinder, and every now and then I run across something that I think she might not have seen yet but would enjoy.  I just wasted hours laughing at this. If you love Demetri Martin, you'll be happy.  Here's an example of what you'll find:
Check out this blog about vintage ads--so freaking funny!  I am slightly obsessed with the quirks of the advertising world, thanks to overdosing on back episodes of Mad Men.  Here's an example of what you'll find:
And last, I am perpetually baffled and fascinated by the hipster community, and any time I can read something that makes fun of hipsters, I'm in.  Check out this relatively new blog.  Here's a great excerpt:

"Your dad rode the subway before you did and he has the tokens to prove it. He’s seen it all, fists fights, rats, homeless men named Harry serenading women passengers with his smoke weathered voice and more than a few transsexuals...Your dad was underground before you were, literally."

Happy, happy Easter to everyone.  I'm going to go eat some more candy.

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