Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Best, Last Statement on Easter

An excerpt from the Archbishop of Canterbury's Easter Sermon this year. It sums up quite perfectly how I feel about Easter:

"For the Church does not exist just to transmit a message across the centuries through a duly constituted hierarchy that arbitrarily lays down what people must believe; it exists so that people in this and every century may encounter Jesus of Nazareth as a living contemporary. This sacrament of Holy Communion that we gather to perform here is not the memorial of a dead leader, conducted by one of his duly authorised successors who controls access to his legacy; it is an event where we are invited to meet the living Jesus as surely as did his disciples on the first Easter Day. And the Bible is not the authorised code of a society managed by priests and preachers for their private purposes, but the set of human words through which the call of God is still uniquely immediate to human beings today, human words with divine energy behind them. Easter should be the moment to recover each year that sense of being contemporary with God's action in Jesus. Everything the church does - celebrating Holy Communion, reading the Bible, ordaining priests or archbishops - is meant to be in the service of this contemporary encounter. It all ought to be transparent to Jesus, not holding back or veiling his presence."

This ought to be sent out to every Unitarian Universalist minister on Ash Wednesday to give them 40 days to think about how to bring a living Easter to their people, and not a dead academic analysis or a total avoidance of the powerful Jesus story.

Amen and amen.


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