Disliking Easter and Other Christian Conundrums

An image from the necropolis under the Vatican...

An image from the necropolis under the Vatican in which Jesus = Mithras (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a Christian, I have never liked Easter. The conflation of Jesus, bunnies, eggs, and resurrection never sat well with me even before I became a Christian.  Add the fact that Easter is only a few months on the church calendar after celebrating the birth of Jesus and you have a contradiction in my opinion. Jesus was born December 25 (according to Christians) but on the church calendar we are quickly taken from celebrating the LIGHT of birth to mourning the darkness of Crucifixion in 3 or 4 months.  It’s well-known that Christians at the time (i.e. the Roman church) took it upon themselves to appropriate pagan religions to appease the new converts from paganism, but by doing this the Christian calendar makes no logical sense.  Christmas and Easter are not Christian holidays but pagan holidays dressed in Christian garb.  Trying to say otherwise is rewriting history to suit one’s Christian fantasies.

Becoming a Quaker means, for me anyway, giving up the idea of special days and cycles of the Christian calendar. Every day is the same and no day is a special day.  Quakers even went as far as renaming days of the week and months because of the pagan roots of words used for Tuesday, Wednesday, etc.  This is more difficult to do once one is used to the Christian cycle, but I find that turning Christmas and Easter into purely secular holidays or even back into the pagan holidays of Yule and Imbolc more satisfying than tortuously trying to make the Christ story fit into the natural cycles of nature. I am all for stripping the Christian calendar of its feasts and festivals and moon days.

I personally believe that there is a quality in the bareness of Christian Quakerism, which may act as a bridge between the past and the future, allowing space for Friends to dare to search within… To be a Quaker is by no means to say goodbye to myth, ritual and symbol, but rather to find myself set free to discover them as the very essence of the way I now experience… Quakers are bridge people. I remain on that bridge, part of my roots reaching back into the Christian past and part stretching forward into the future where new symbols are being born.

Damaris Parker-Rhodes, 1985, Quaker Faith and Practice, 5th edition online.

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Love After Love…

Love After Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other’s welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,

the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Derek Walcott