Monday, March 31, 2008

Thoughts on Easter, to an athiest

This afternoon, I have been pouring my heart out. Literally.
I just composed an email to a close loved one. He/she had sent me a copy of the sermon that was given at his/her Unitarian Fellowship on Easter morning. It spoke of how Jesus' questionable resurrection served as an example of hope to us all. It watered down our resurrection.
I could not walk away.

This is a (slightly revised to maintain privacy) copy of my email. Please pray for this person, whom I shall call "So Special to Darlene." If you would like, I can post a copy of the sermon. Tell me your thoughts.

I thank you for sharing your Easter Sermon with me. I am always grateful that we can share the things/thoughts in our lives that our important to us.I read the sermon several times. In fact, I have been thinking about it non-stop all morning. I know that I must respond to this one. For I am reminded at this very moment, “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?" – Esther 4:14

This sermon raised many, many feelings in me. However, they were not the meaningful, inspirational, hopeful feelings that you felt. Since you opened up the subject, I must tell you, that this sermon falls short on addressing the subject of hope found in the resurrection of Christ. And it falls short in the department of Hope. In truth, this sermon makes me sad.

Crocuses bring me hope. A smiling child brings me hope. An upcoming night-out brings me hope. A change in jobs/home/clothing brings me hope. An encouraging word brings me hope. And yes, encouraging words, like these from your pastor, bring hope: "Hope may die entirely, and hope can still return. And even when people have left us and have gone to the grave, we find they are still very much here, in our own lives. The dead are with us each and every day, all the beloved sons and daughter, who are nobody in particular and children of God. Here in the midst of our lives, we find their presence, just as we [did] in their absence. We could search for their bodies, but that’s not really where they are."
These things all offer hope. But hope without a future.

Even still,There is a Hope that is everlasting….Your pastor spoke of Him, but, in essence, avoided Him.The Risen Christ, the Jesus of Nazareth, does not just bring hope;He brings Life.He offers no LESS than life, and to suggest otherwise is depraved of hope.

It is also important for you to know that your pastor was irreverent and disrespectful to the teachings of Jesus Christ. Essentially, your pastor was blaspheming, in the truest sense. Because of the misinformation he was teaching, it would have been better for him to have left Jesus out of his Easter sermon altogether (see verses James 3:1, and Luke 17:1-3). This troubles me, as he stands before many people as a leader. I look forward to an opportunity to show you where there is misinformation.

I do not wish to go on and on, although I do have so much more to say. Please, I would be honored to dive into this topic with you, should you desire. I will leave you with one thought to ponder, regarding Jesus. Your pastor said (referring to Jesus), "There was a man who was a great man who was nobody in particular." Jesus was a man. Jesus was also nobody in particular. But one thing he was Not, was a 'great man.' Based on the spoken claims of Jesus, he was either: 1. Absolutely insane or, 2. The Son of God.
Jesus himself asks each of us: 15"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?" - Matthew 16:15

Your pastor added in this thought: "But I know there are many of us in this room – both Christian and non-Christian – who are skeptical about the turn of events."

I say to you: If you are skeptical, why not investigate? Why not? What is there to fear?......Look into the tomb from the eyes of a Christian, from the eyes of his followers - who all, save one, chose to die for him. Look in, and Jesus promises YOU: 7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened." - Matthew 7:7-8

I can promise. Like Mary, you will find the tomb empty…

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