Participation: that is what’s going to save the human race. Once upon a time, wasn’t singing a part of everyday life, as much as talking, physical exercise or religion? Our distant ancestors, wherever they were in this world, sang — while pounding grain, paddling canoes or making long journeys. Can we begin to make our lives once more all of a piece? Finding the right songs and singing them over and over is a way to start. And when one person taps out a beat while another leads into the melody, or when three people discover a harmony they never knew existed, or a crowd joins in on a chorus as though to raise the ceiling a few feet higher, then they also know there is hope for the world.
My son Jonas turns 6 in March. At night, he nestles into the curve of my right arm to delight in our latest literary adventure. He loves stories with knights and battles. Or stories with pirates and battles. While I share his enthusiasm for such stories, I feel a small pang of guilt as I read battle-laden tales. After all, I’m a pacifist.
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
In this cold commodity culture where you lay your money down it’s hard to even notice that all this earth is hallowed ground harder still to feel it basic as a breath love is stronger than darkness love is stronger than death
The Easter hope we have, brothers and sisters, the hope that never disappoints has nothing to do with optimism or the avoidance of suffering, is a hope that can only come from a God who has experienced birth, and love and friendship and lepers and prostitutes and betrayal and suffering and death and burial and a decent into hell itself. Only a God who has born suffering himself can bring us any real hope of resurrection. And if ever given the choice of optimism or resurrection I’d go with resurrection any day of the week. This is the God of whom Paul speaks. And the Christian faith is one that does not pretend things aren’t bad. This is a faith that does not offer platitudes to those who lost children this week to suicide or a tornado. This is not a faith that produces optimism it is a faith that produces a defiant hope that God is still writing the story and that despite darkness a light shines and that God can redeem our crap and that beauty matters and that despite every disappointing thing we have ever done or that we have ever endured, that there is no hell from which resurrection is impossible. The Christian faith is one that kicks at the darkness until it bleeds daylight.