Easter 2022. Then and he, always and us

A while ago I, a priest with a new guilt, walked into the supermarket around the corner in what is now a little too mine Amsterdam. It was pandemic time, remember? That was before the war. I put on a warm hat, put on earphones, put on my jacket collar and mouthpiece. A man came to me. He was completely unrecognizable as I was wearing a hat and a mask. I could immediately see that he was homeless. This is madness.

His arms were full of food. cheap bread. Potato Chips. Noodles are ready. Junk, I judged – I saw it right away. “Are you going to pay this? I’m hungry,” he asked, in broken Dutch. But I was already walking away, almost routinely. She muttered, “No sorry.” I entered another hall.

There, among the shelves full of things I could easily buy, I stopped. I thought why not? I have enough right? I just got a cash tinner. This is not my country now hard work has become see people? In the heart of Amsterdam?

I walked back and gave him a tenner. Hold my hand with his free hand – completely against the rules of the wreath. The touch amazed me. Happy, relieved said: Oh thank you! And immediately: Thank you Jesus† We stumbled over some words. Moments later, when I left, I heard him againThank you JesusThank you, Jesus. So I got a credo for a drug. Think about it again.

I should also check if I can authorize this to the cashier. professional costs.

Gospel of John

Today is Easter. He. She Celebrating our traditions. Today it comes to him.

Many may sympathize with the amazing parables and visions of Jesus. The gestures he made also retain their power. Perhaps you can also believe that he touched and healed people. why not? You will probably have no problem believing that Jesus was executed. The cruelty and cruelty of power-hungry people has never been less. But can you believe that the tomb was empty? He rose from the dead?

John is the last missionary, and his story was written at least sixty years after Jesus’ death. Johannes loved poetic language and big words. But today, on the most important feast of our faith, when it comes to it, I have heard two very simple passages. Nevertheless, great things happen in Him, through what is given and through what is given not It said.

I first heard that the risen Jesus was suddenly standing among his friends as they closed the doors in fear. Jesus wishes them peace and gives them – beware, because this is great – he gives them: The power of forgiveness – or not. He does it with his breath. Expressive details. It reminds us of his last breath on the cross – Aslam the ghost – and the story of creation in which God rids man of dust and breathes in it.

Forgiveness is a divine power – and it is as common as daily bread. Do you hear how cool that is?

Then you heard the semi-comic proclamation that Jesus performed many signs in the presence of his disciples, which are “not found in this book.” strange isn’t it? You might think the Bible is about the hero, about Jesus. But John is clearly interested in something else: that we believe and live.

Dan: Johannes doesn’t tell anything, in the apparition stories. Just like other evangelicals. Wonderful. For example, there is not He said: Jesus has won! cute puh! It is not said that the disciples should take revenge. Nor is there a charge against the Jewish and Roman rulers, against the church and the state. And he certainly isn’t saying that the resurrected man became a divine figure because Hollywood would make him, radiant and invulnerable, a superhero with muscles, tight suit and cute cloak.

Time and time again, Easter reminds us that our normal reactions — revenge, guilt, moral superiority, heroism — are inappropriate. They were not rejected, just not mentioned. Did not matter. Something else is at stake. We offer something different.

orthodox iconography

What is that? You can keep doing this for a lifetime. Today I would like to draw attention to collective from the resurrection. Something that Eastern Orthodox Christianity offered.

In the Western imagination, two images of Jesus are prevalent on these Easter days. You see them there above the site of the ancient altar. In front of the Crucified: naked, dripping on a cross. How do you get it in your head to hang that. And beyond, in the window, the Risen Christ, the Heavenly King.

The interesting thing is that you can only see the king anywhere in the church. This huge cross is always hung in front of him. As if Pierre Kuipers wanted to say with his design: this is the pattern. There is no resurrection without the cross, no Christ without Jesus, and no new life without death. We realize it, in a simple way, in our lives.

In Western Christianity, this is also caricatured. Generations of believers have been told that it is all about giving thanks to Jesus so you can go to heaven after this valley of earthly tears. Faith as a private rescue plan.

In Eastern Orthodox Christianity, people have come to imagine the resurrected Christ differently. Next week, the Eastern Orthodox, including Russian and Ukrainian believers, will celebrate Easter. There are also thousands of refugees in our country.

In Orthodox icons, the risen Christ looks different. Not as a lonely person conquering death to help us in solitude or to teach a lesson. Here Christ is the one who breaks the chains of death and frees a long march of people from darkness. They follow it hand in hand.

The resurrection is at least as ambiguous in the Orthodox churches as it is in the Western churches, but it is first and foremost a communal event. Jesus Christ is unique, sure, but most importantly, he is the first. We will get to it. All of them.

I find this useful to us as individuals. We tend to treat everything as an individual or personal problem. We even deal with our common problems this way. Good world, start with yourself. But we can’t deal with that anymore.

Wouldn’t we, especially at this time, realize that all the big issues are collective problems? Animal extinction, climate change, war in Europe, corona, economic inequality, faltering belief in democracy, millions in mental distress: these are all systemic problems with how we arrange and organize our society. We can just process it together.

The question, then, is: How can we think and act more collectively? Or rather: how do we hold each other up and help each other get up?

To be honest, I don’t really know that yet. I myself have been shaped so much by our culture of self-knowledge and self-awareness. Successful life – we still get that message embedded in you – that’s if you’re doing well.

While we have to see it is different. We feel that way sometimes, too. Because: Could our lives here really be good if a war broke out in Ukraine? Could our lives really be good if the living earth died? And suppose – thought experiment – suppose you ended up in heaven later. Can you really be happy there, knowing that others are in Hell?

I’m your we

Let’s say that Easter is not about you and me, but about us. How can we begin to see that and live it more?

Perhaps we can begin to see that we are only partially individuals. Purely biologically speaking, you are indeed an interaction of all kinds of life forms, and I have already outlined that, but that is also the case in other respects. What I call I is constantly shaped by others: family, lovers, friends, teachers, neighbours. I have we too. You also feel that this is happening now that we can celebrate and sing together again after Corona: it makes us more alive.

They are just small examples. If you see yourself who you are all made up, you will probably also come to some kind of cloth. Your I is also us.

This also applies to Jesus. I was already alive. He allowed John the Baptist to send himself, and he accompanied people from the beginning. Students, friends, comrades and travel companions. Attract people and send them. Jesus was a movement of women and men. His ‘I’ was so porous that he identified himself with God.

After his death, Jesus truly became the Christ. This means: many of us. You can look at Easter as a separate event. But what we have in reality are the experiences of that first group: they saw that the tomb was empty, they met a gardener, a man on his way to Emmaus. They noticed that he suddenly stood among them. They breathed his soul.

They found that they became his body when they shared bread and wine.

Christ is among us

Today is Easter. Our tradition feast. Today it comes to him.

Last week someone from this community said: I believed in her in the resurrection. But I haven’t seen that there are so many little resurrections. Now it is rather the opposite. I see myself and others rising over and over again from pain, sadness, and trouble. Very cool sometimes. But what do we do with the Great Resurrection?

I am glad you are here and at home also to celebrate the Great Resurrection. To nurture doubt, says Timothy Radcliffe, we are built to be a home together for the God who is love. To feed the suspicion that myself depend on us. We can help each other get up. time after time.

That Christ is among us. Wish us peace. Forgiveness breathes. We live. Thank you, Jesus.

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