What if Easter was about Eve? What would it be like if the entire “Christian” world celebrated the day that Eve ate the fruit and exited the Garden? What if we painted eggs to symbolize the embryo of all women yet to-come, her “birthing” of a new world, her breaking free? What if we covered the ham with apple slices instead of pineapple? What if we wore snakeskin shoes instead of patent leather? What if we wore hats adorned with fig leaves?
Does all this seem scandalous, sacrilegious, shocking? I’ll admit it does (a bit) to me, too. But here’s the thing:
You get to decide what you imbue with meaning and significance. You get to decide the symbols that hold sway. You get to decide the stories that speak. You get to define the Sacred – for you!
To have it prescribed, decreed, or demanded never works out all that well.
Believe me: this is not to decry the beauty and mystery inherent in the resurrection story. Not at all. Nor am I arguing that centuries of religious tradition should be abandoned.
What I am saying is that were we to hear and embrace other stories, especially those of women, we might just have a different affnity for the Sacred – both within and without.
This is what I most want for you: an experience and understanding of the Sacred that is unbound and imaginative and extraordinary.
- Perhaps that comes through remembering the empty tomb, Jesus’ resurrection, and the glorious singing of Handel’s Messiah.
- Perhaps that comes through painted eggs and chocolate bunnies and family ’round the table.
- Perhaps that comes through a morning of incense and yoga or a cup of coffee and the New York Times.
- Perhaps that comes through a walk in the sun and the spotting of Spring’s return.
- Perhaps that comes through holding close the story of a woman who was created in the image of the gods and infinitely loved by the same; who risked everything for the life she imagined was just on the other side of boundary and border and rules; who made dangerous and bold choices; who trusted the know-that-I-know-that-I-know voice within; who survived and persevered and labored and birthed and lived outside Eden; from whom we all descend – her daughter, her lineage, her kin.
- Perhaps that comes by believing that it is possible to be freed from all that binds (like the darkness of a tomb) through stories and symbols and all-things Sacred; that maybe impossible-to-explain faith somehow endures (like a resurrection).
Ultimately, that is what Easter and the Sacred and Life are about: being loosened from the grip of hopelessness and despair and ushered into the profound awareness that life and joy and miracle not only await, but actually exist.
May it be so.