Well, I waited till Easter Monday so as not to upset the apple cart too much, but now I have to say my piece about Christianity. Understand that I am an ordained Christian minister -- one cannot be ordained without affiliation to a denomination.
So now that we are through The Passion and The Resurrection and back into Ordinary Time, I believe that the Christian Church, from the Catholics down to the tiniest Protestant sect, has entirely missed the point of the story. Totally. Completely. Without exception. Answer me this, Batman:
Why does Christianity spend 51 weeks of the year on crucifixion and only one week of the year on resurrection?
Surely, the moral of the story is that we may all be resurrected whenever we decide to allow it.
What I think happened is that Christianity got stuck on the crucifixion. The advent of logical, positivistic science has been folded into crucifixion and, like any scientific experiment, must have replicable results in order to be legitimate. Hence, Christians crucify themselves and others again and again. Not surprisingly, crucifixion produces death -- every time.
However, this mischaracterizes the Crucifixion. I refer you to Hebrews 10:10, to wit:
... through the offering of Jesus Christ once for all.
Blessed Christians, the Crucifixion was not a scientific experiment, it was a Work of Art, an Act of Love, and it was never meant to be replicated, never, ever, ever. No, Jesus offered himself once for all (italics mine). Just like the Sistine Chapel was painted once, and The Last Supper was painted once as was Picasso's Guernica. Once. That one time.
To quote that great theologian, Dolly Parton, "Get off the cross, honey. Somebody else needs the wood." May I paraphrase? Get off the cross, honey. The wood needs to be something else.
So let's take a walk through Passion Week and use its iconography for real healing. The beginning of the story starts in the marketplace on Wednesday, any Wednesday really. Provisions were needed for The Last Supper. Provisions are needed for healing as well. Let's say you want to heal fear in your life. What provisions might you need?
They'll be symbolic, of course. Gather what you need for your ritual of healing fear. A candle? Flowers? Music? What will you prepare and serve as a last supper for your fearful self? Gather whatever you need.
On Thursday, prepare. Cook what needs cooking. Clean what needs cleaning. Figure out what you'll wear to wash your own feet. Will you do your foot-washing in the tub? Do you have a large old basin? Set your table. Dress for release of fear. Dine. Wash. Begin to release your fear. Write. Sing. Dance. Break things. Throw pillows.
Who is the Judas part of you that betrays you into fear every time? Receive the Judas kiss. Let it identify you as the Divine Spark you are, destined to transform the world by transforming your very own self.
Friday is the Tenebrae Service. Your own personal crucifixion of fear. Let it rise in you and let it go. Father/Mother, forgive this fear for it knows not what it does. Rend the veil of your ego and at last commend the spirit of fear into the Divine. Tenebrae is darkest dark day of the Church calendar, and the darkest moment before the infusion of Divine Light.
Holy Saturday, during which Jesus rearranged every molecule of his consciousness in order to rise again. Do ye the same. Be still, poke into interior cupboards, closets, pockets ... all places where old fear may be stored. Exhume the fear in all its distressing disguises. Wander. Go for a walk. Clean out a drawer. Read. Sit. Nap. Be still, and know that ye are God Incarnate. Sleep deeply after asking for a dream about who you will be when you fear no longer.
Easter Sunday. Before you rise from your bed, give thanks. Remember your dream if you can. This is the day of your resurrection as a fearless being. Stretch. Laugh. Pray. Do your ablutions as ritual. Be mindful of everything you do as a sacrament. Coffee. Breakfast. The paper. The puzzle.
Go slowly and revel in your Resurrection Self. You have vanquished the fear you felt. It is a new day. A new dawn. A new you. Live your resurrection life.
Remember, beloved, that you may have Easter and a Resurrection Experience any week of the year for any reason. Mindful ritual can make life transcendent ... uh ... trance end-ent. Happy Easter, happy you.