We all have busy hectic schedules in a world that seems to move faster each day. An entire blog post could be devoted to addressing ways to slow down our lives and reconnect to the world around us. So, this might be just that kind of blog post. We seem to disconnect from traditions and holidays as a part of this crazy life we live. But holidays can be reminders in our busy schedule to take time to reflect. This begs the question, what is the Spiritual Message of Easter?
Unlike other holidays, the Christian holiday of Easter and its place on our calendar is firmly established in fact. Jesus was in Jerusalem for Passover which is usually celebrated near the Easter holiday. The story tells of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, a central tenet to Christian faith. Those who are not practicing Christians might be tempted to dismiss this story as just that, a story. But the Christian Bible is filled with parables and metaphors, ways of talking about a subject without addressing it directly. Can we find a useful spiritual lesson outside of the context of the religion?
Birth and Death
Part of the craziness of the world we live in is that life seems to come more quickly with each passing day. One of the reasons for that is that we don’t slow down often enough to catch our breath, to reset. Although the timing of Easter is set by a lunar calendar (1) it always occurs after the first day of Spring. After a long cold winter, the world magically comes back to life through no effort of our own. There is now more daylight than darkness. The first lesson of Easter is that of rebirth. Taking time to celebrate Easter honors the process of rebirth in our own lives. Being open to change and growth is a hallmark for lifelong learners on the spiritual path. Take time on Easter to imagine a new world coming to life for you. That this new energy permeates your personal relationships, your romantic relationships, your health, your finances even your work. Getting stuck in the rut of everyday life often numbs us from dreaming of a better life. It’s like we are just trying to survive and not even thinking about thriving.
Giving Yourself Over to Something Bigger
Before Jesus was captured by the Romans, he knew what was to come for him. In his despair, he makes a remarkably human plea to God. “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” (2) In the end, Jesus placed his will in God’s hands despite knowing that his end was near. We spend a great deal of time fighting against the world to eek out a meager living. What if we placed our fates into the hands of a higher power? Take this time at Easter to find in your heart where you are fighting against the authorities. Choosing to commit your life to something bigger than yourself has been a universal theme throughout time. Struggling against the world (The Romans) will only put you on the road to unhappiness. Find something that connects you to the universal nature all around us. You might ask yourself… “what does that mean?” THAT question is the core of your spiritual journey in this life.
Once we find our connection to a greater spiritual reality, there is a literal rebirth that happens. Just as Jesus arose after his crucifixion, there is a line that delineates the old you from the new you. Where once there was sickness, appears health. A life of loneliness is then transformed by loving friendships which seemingly appear from nowhere. Just as the world is reborn in Spring through no effort on our part, the resurrected you, the newly present you experience God’s grace. A gift that is not earned or deserved, it is simply given out of love.
During this Easter holiday set aside some time to see yourself in a new light, a refreshed light. A light filled with hope and optimism. Give yourself the gift of reimagining your life so that happiness and love are the goals. Be reborn with the season