Sunday, 20 April 2014
For those of us of a Christian heritage, today is a day of profound significance, much more so than Christmas, though you could be forgiven for not knowing that, or why. Christianity is very bad at explaining itself to grown-ups, I find. I have lost count of the "Lent talks" I have listened to on the BBC where a sophisticated speaker gets hopelessly lost somewhere in the wilderness that lies between literal truth and metaphor.
Without the resurrection, the story of the crucifixion is meaningless, they say. OK. We have Paul's word on that: "And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain." Fine; got that. But the Resurrection is not to be taken too literally, they also say. There's a lot of metaphor in there. Uh, OK, but confusing.
The crucifixion is easy to grasp: great story, great scenario, wonderful images, if terribly, brutally tragic, with no punches pulled. I'm amazed children are allowed to listen to it. The resurrection... less so. "With a single bound he was free..." It's no wonder modern religious sensibilities reach for the metaphors. Or that most of the population goes with the chocolate eggs and rabbits on Easter Sunday, instead.
Anyway, don't look at me, I'm a lapsed-Baptist Zen pagan pantheist agnostic, with an unfortunately skeptical nature that takes absolutely nothing on trust, even if printed in tiny print in numbered paragraphs in double columns on india paper. If it's theological debate you want, try the Archbishop of Canterbury (he seems generally less busy at this time of year than that Pope fellow).
We'll be in Wales for a few days from tomorrow, but I'll schedule some posts to keep you company during the week.