Easter an affirmation of the possibility of new life.
Byline: FROM HEART TO HEART By the Rev. Jeremy Hajdu-Paulen For The Register-Guard
Much ink has been spilled recently over the meaning of Christ's passion. While the events leading up to the crucifixion are an essential chapter in the life of Christ, by no means should they have the last word. For in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, Christians will arise to the amazing possibility of new life.
One joy of living in the Northwest is the chance to hike in beautiful temperate rainforests. I revel in the towering trees and the earthy, cool smell of damp moss. Many people would be surprised to discover, as I was, that nestled in the forests is a powerful image of the meaning of the resurrection.
When a grand old tree topples over in the forest, as it decays, a number of small saplings may root themselves deeply in its rich, crumbling trunk. The tree or stump that gives rise to these new saplings is called a "nurse log," which is essential to the ongoing health of the forest ecosystem Forest ecosystem
The entire assemblage of organisms (trees, shrubs, herbs, bacteria, fungi, and animals, including people) together with their environmental substrate (the surrounding air, soil, water, organic debris, and rocks), interacting inside a defined .
New life tenaciously taking hold where at first there appears to be only death and decay - that is the meaning of the resurrection. On Easter, Christians around the world celebrate the power of life over death. The women who discovered the empty tomb Noun 1. empty tomb - a monument built to honor people whose remains are interred elsewhere or whose remains cannot be recovered
monument, memorial - a structure erected to commemorate persons or events on Easter came prepared for death - they carried spices to anoint a·noint
tr.v. a·noint·ed, a·noint·ing, a·noints
1. To apply oil, ointment, or a similar substance to.
2. To put oil on during a religious ceremony as a sign of sanctification or consecration.
3. a lifeless body. Instead, incredibly, they were confronted by the possibility of new life.
Easter is not about a resuscitated re·sus·ci·tate
v. re·sus·ci·tat·ed, re·sus·ci·tat·ing, re·sus·ci·tates
To restore consciousness, vigor, or life to. See Synonyms at revive.
To regain consciousness. body or the grief-stricken visions of Jesus' followers still reeling from the brutal events of the crucifixion. For Christians, Easter is the ultimate affirmation that new life arises out of what was thought to be the finality of death.
When my friend Albert discovered that he had AIDS, like the women who peered
into Jesus' tomb early on Easter morning, he expected only decay and death. A deeply spiritual man, Albert struggled mightily to comprehend his diagnosis in the light of his faith. For a time, the bitter odor of "why" filled his nostrils.
But slowly, miraculously, Albert looked death in the eye - and chose life. In the midst Adv. 1. in the midst - the middle or central part or point; "in the midst of the forest"; "could he walk out in the midst of his piece?"
midmost of his illness, Albert opted for the power of love, and paradoxically experienced new life. Relationships were healed. Hurts were mended. Resurrection was transformed from a theological concept to an experience of discovering an empty tomb on Easter morning.
For me, resurrection is the most empowering aspect of the Christian faith. The resurrection gives me the strength to nurture new life in the stagnant parts of my life. The resurrection gives me the courage to embrace the radical love embodied in the life and ministry of Jesus According to the Canonical Gospels, the Ministry of Jesus began when Jesus was around 30 years old, and lasted a period of 1-3 years. In the Biblical narrative, Jesus' method of teaching involved parables, metaphor, allegory, sayings, proverbs, and a small number of direct sermons. . Resurrection frees me to live fully - here and now.
Easter is a celebration that death need not have the last word. Signs of new life abound!
The Rev. Jeremy Hajdu-Paulen is the United Methodist campus minister at the Wesley Foundation A Wesley Foundation is a United Methodist campus ministry sponsored in full or in part (depending on the congregation) by the United Methodist Church on a non-church owned and operated campus. at the University of Oregon The University of Oregon is a public university located in Eugene, Oregon. The university was founded in 1876, graduating its first class two years later. The University of Oregon is one of 60 members of the Association of American Universities. . This column is coordinated by Two Rivers Two Rivers, city (1990 pop. 13,030), Manitowoc co., E Wis., on Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Twin River; inc. 1878. Two Rivers is closely associated with its twin city, Manitowoc, both of which are highly industrialized. Interfaith Ministries, a network of faith communities in the Eugene-Springfield area. For more information, call 344-5693.