Easter Morning Message

Eternal Return

HR Heisman
Oct 15, 2009
6,098
6,504
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Happy Easter!

Spiritual thoughts on Christianity this morning. I decided to spend some time this weekend reading the four Gospels in the Bible. I've read the entirety of the Bible over the course of my life, but if you ask me about Leviticus I'll say, "I read it forty years ago so let me recite it from memory."

I haven't been to Christian church service in longer than I can remember. And, yet, in reading Luke and Mark in particular (John uses more off-putting language) found that a lot of the ideas about the human potential for love under the worst possible circumstances are exceptional versions of the same ideas that I value most in life.

When put into action, the virtues of kindness, generosity, patience, humility, and mercy necessarily transform a person's inner life and they change values, priorities, and goals. The beauty of it is that is what happens when acts are done in service of the good if others as well as one's self.

As far as I can tell, Christianity is best represented by the accounts of Jesus' life. The passage that struck me most was about how before Jesus came into being, the only way to have a relationship with God was by obeying the law. That was Old Testament Judaism. But Jesus said that he was the gift of God's mercy and that God would no longer judge humans by the law, but act mercifully toward them.

Too many people get lost in the supernatural aspects, whether they're real or not, whether this is just about God's relationship with humans at the time if their deaths, instead of giving the passage a literary reading as a message consistent with all of his other messages: I want you to love others the way I love you and I want you to allow yourself to feel the love I'm giving you through my words, my actions, even my very demeanor.

I always thought the passage about Jesus washing the feet of Mary Magdalene was among the most important in not just the Bible, but in all of the world's literature. I'm going to strip the passage of its literary beauty to expose its principles.

Prostitutes were barely above lepers and probably somehow below male lepers on the social status pole. But that means something much more vile in its time than even now. The way the story is presented, the sight of a man who had gained the esteem Jesus had within that culture kneeling at the feet of a woman to wash her feet was all but blasphemous. She deserved nothing. The best gift she should ever get from a man, it seemed as I was reading, was to be ignored completely, as if her existence was on par with a rock.

From my perspective as a young child first hearing that passage being read, I could not fathom how they could miss his kindness and generosity. As an adult, I see this passage as a metaphorical way of communicating that to love like Jesus did (meaning, being a Christian) meant never believing that another human being was lesser than you no matter their station in life.

As the Gospels continue, it's clear that she developed a capacity to love unequalled by any human except for Jesus and his mother, Mary. She was an unloved dreg of humanity in that culture. Her body regularly "poisoned" by abusive sex, the idea that such a woman could be one of the most loving human beings in the history of the planet seemed preposterous. It would probably seem only slightly less preposterous today.

Mary Magdalene's story is one of redemption, sure, but not the redemption of a "dirty whore" becoming a living being, but the redemption of culture that would not believe that every person is worth loving, worth receiving loving service from others. Jesus, as the human version of the omnipotent, omniscient, and all-loving God, as the Messiah, the deliverer of mercy in the place of justice, the God-man who is the Highest of On High, the Holiest of Holies, and all the other glorious aliases for G-O-D, shows the community, the culture, and the world that no person who speaks in His Name shall put himself above whoever is considered the lowest of the low and be right with God. I've come across no secular philosophy suggesting anything so loving as a goal for humanity.

The further beauty is that any person unwilling to be of loving service to another based on notions of the other's inferiority is still to be loved by all adhering to Christ's messages and actions. The beauty for people trying to be Christians is that they can use all of the same creative energy that artists use in their dance, painting, acting, etc., and guys like Steve Jobs used toward developing technological innovations toward making civilization and all cultures and communities as loving as possible.

Have a loving day. Happy Easter.
 
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Ozzy4335

HR MVP
Jul 27, 2020
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Happy Easter!

Spiritual thoughts on Christianity this morning. I decided to spend some time this weekend reading the four Gospels in the Bible. I've read the entirety of the Bible over the course of my life, but if you ask me about Leviticus I'll say, "I read it forty years ago so let me recite it from memory."

I haven't been to Christian church service in longer than I can remember. And, yet, in reading Luke and Mark in particular (John uses more off-putting language) found that a lot of the ideas about the human potential for love under the worst possible circumstances are exceptional versions of the same ideas that I value most in life.

When put into action, the virtues of kindness, generosity, patience, humility, and mercy necessarily transform a person's inner life and they change values, priorities, and goals. The beauty of it is that is what happens when acts are done in service of the good if others as well as one's self.

As far as I can tell, Christianity is best represented by the accounts of Jesus' life. The passage that struck me most was about how before Jesus came into being, the only way to have a relationship with God was by obeying the law. That was Old Testament Judaism. But Jesus said that he was the gift of God's mercy and that God would no longer judge humans by the law, but act mercifully toward them.

Too many people get lost in the supernatural aspects, whether they're real or not, whether this is just about God's relationship with humans at the time if their deaths, instead of giving the passage a literary reading as a message consistent with all of his other messages: I want you to love others the way I love you and I want you to allow yourself to feel the love I'm giving you through my words, my actions, even my very demeanor.

I always thought the passage about Jesus washing the feet of Mary Magdalene was among the most important in not just the Bible, but in all of the world's literature. I'm going to strip the passage of its literary beauty to expose its principles.

Prostitutes were barely above lepers and probably somehow below male lepers on the social status pole. But that means something much more vile in its time than even now. The way the story is presented, the sight of a man who had gained the esteem Jesus had within that culture kneeling at the feet of a woman to wash her feet was all but blasphemous. She deserved nothing. The best gift she should ever get from a man, it seemed as I was reading, was to be ignored completely, as if her existence was on par with a rock.

From my perspective as a young child first hearing that passage being read, I could not fathom how they could miss his kindness and generosity. As an adult, I see this passage as a metaphorical way of communicating that to love like Jesus did (meaning, being a Christian) meant never believing that another human being was lesser than you no matter their station in life.

As the Gospels continue, it's clear that she developed a capacity to love unequalled by any human except for Jesus and his mother, Mary. She was an unloved dreg of humanity in that culture. Her body regularly "poisoned" by abusive sex, the idea that such a woman could be one of the most loving human beings in the history of the planet seemed preposterous. It would probably seem only slightly less preposterous today.

Mary Magdalene's story is one of redemption, sure, but not the redemption of a "dirty whore" becoming a living being, but the redemption of culture that would not believe that every person is worth loving, worth receiving loving service from others. Jesus, as the human version of the omnipotent, omniscient, and all-loving God, as the Messiah, the deliverer of mercy in the place of justice, the God-man who is the Highest of On High, the Holiest of Holies, and all the other glorious aliases for G-O-D, shows the community, the culture, and the world that no person who speaks in His Name shall put himself above whoever is considered the lowest of the low and be right with God. I've come across no secular philosophy suggesting anything so loving as a goal for humanity.

The further beauty is that any person unwilling to be of loving service to another based on notions of the other's inferiority is still to be loved by all adhering to Christ's messages and actions. The beauty for people trying to be Christians is that they can use all of the same creative energy that artists use in their dance, painting, acting, etc., and guys like Steve Jobs used toward developing technological innovations toward making civilization and all cultures and communities as loving as possible.

Have a loving day. Happy Easter.
Mary washed Jesus' feet.
 
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Eternal Return

HR Heisman
Oct 15, 2009
6,098
6,504
113
Mary washed Jesus' feet.

lol, you're right. I got mixed up the passages where Mary perfumed Jesus feet with the passages about Jesus washing the feet of the apostles. It's his washing the feet of others that puts him in the role of a "lowly" servant. I'd have to modify my OP, but the principles still apply given he was acting as a servant for others even though his station in life in that culture suggested he's the one who should have his feet washed by a servant.