By Pat Kile
Easter’s over. . . Good Friday was appropriately dark, and two days later, to the sound of the usual glorious music, we found the stone rolled away one more time. Now three weeks later, I’ve put away the few little Easter decorations we saved when we moved into our condo, and most of the half-priced Easter candy bought the day after at Bartell’s has been eaten. Even the after-Easter ham we bought at Freddy’s for almost nothing has been consumed, down to the bone, with a pot of beans. So here we are—halfway to Pentecost, looking for Jesus on the road to Emmaus.
But this year there are a few Eastery thoughts still hanging around, at least in my head. Those discussions that Cherry Johnson led in the Lenten adult education classes were extremely thought-provoking. That wasn’t surprising because I think Cherry is one of the most gifted teachers among us. And that’s saying something, because at SFBC we have a wealth of wonderful sermons and rich teaching and reflections throughout the year.
Cherry’s sessions focused specifically on the resurrection. There was a wide range of thoughts and beliefs on the resurrection expressed by members of the SFBC community—also no surprise. For some people, at least, the question of whether we are to take the resurrection as literally true is very important—and there are of course people on both sides of that question. Personally, I’ve never thought too much about it. But then I was nearly 30 when I discovered that not everyone believed we all descended from Adam and Eve. An interesting thing we learned and maybe helpful to know is that resurrection—a type of return from the hero’s journey—is a common element in most religions. But what I found most life-changing of all that we considered together with Cherry is the idea that maybe literal truth isn’t the most critical question. Maybe the most critical question is the larger meaning of the resurrection. The metaphorical meaning. Where have we been entombed? How would it feel to have the stone rolled away? How much strength or grace would it take. . . ?
I have several tombs sealed with stones in my own personal life. (I’m claustrophobic enough to have to take a deep breath just writing that!) Maybe this will be the year those stones begin to roll away. Those Lenten discussions were a good beginning. Thank you, Cherry and fellow SFBC believers—and non-believers!
This blog includes thoughts from various contributors at Seattle First Baptist