Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021
On my walk this morning, I thought quite a lot about Faith and Forgiveness considering the choices we have made and will make in our lives.
First, thinking about the meaning of Easter while looking at the early signs of spring in this northern region of N. America, I kept focusing on what gives us faith. While Christians tend to celebrate Easter every year (a constant), the meaning of Easter is all on based on faith. And a belief that Jesus rose from death and walks with followers now in Spirit. It has been this faith and belief that Easter has been celebrated for over a thousand years.
I was thinking of Jesus and all the steps He took during Holy Week under the guiding umbrella of faith. While Christian scriptures have described Jesus ‘knowing’ how the events of the week would unfold, it was faith that moved Him to make the choices to follow through with the events of Holy Week. (Of course, some might argue with this interpretation, please know this is my interpretation and my understanding of Holy Week).
I then began to think of all the ways faith is active in my own life. I remembered drawing ‘faith’ in glitter glue on my bedroom mirror in 2003 to keep myself focused that I would be able to finish my MA in Religious Studies. Then focusing on relationships: all the ways I have placed faith in people, and people have faith in me. My children, my family, my friends; and my clients have faith in me as a therapist.
I started thinking about the choices I have made and the choices I have yet to make and how many of these fall under the umbrella of faith. Faith in myself and faith in others.
I think the events of this past week in my own life while paralleling the events of Holy Week have invited me to a place of recommitting to a faith in myself: my beliefs, the rituals of my life and my relationships. Each day brings an opportunity to honor who we are, who and what we believe, and to have faith.
Forgiveness (There is no perfect ‘anything’):
Having faith in ourselves and our choices means that sometimes we make the wrong ones. Even more important to this understanding is that sometimes things do not turn out perfect even when we have made the right choices and done what we believed was our best.
Things are not the way we wanted, the way we chose, and definitely were not perfect.
In a Christian understanding of Easter, Jesus died for the sins of humanity. His death was about forgiveness. (Again, this is not about Christian doctrine, it is about my understanding of the parallels that have been presented to me this week with a hope that sharing will perhaps be important in your life).
As I was walking, I started focusing on the things I had to do today and was hit with emotional flash that ‘even if I did all the things right, sometimes they don’t turn out perfect”. I am not perfect. I need to forgive myself for being ‘less than perfect’. Now I know this, and believe this; And yet, this is where faith and forgiveness meet.
If I place faith in myself to make the best choices I can at the time, then I must also forgive myself when “life/the universe/whatever is greater than ourselves” makes another choice. Basically faith=forgiveness.
Is this part of the teachings of Easter? Most definitely. This was written however from my own learnings and reflections on my life, my own journey.
I need to have faith that when I light a candle in honor of a loved one, in honor of the Creator and Goddess, in practice of my beliefs, when I live in relationship with others, that it means something. And then I need to be willing to forgive, mostly myself, when needed.
Once again faith=forgiveness, as there is no perfect anything.
Following the cycle of seasons, in N. America, springtime is a time when the earth wakes up (snow melts, grass greens, trees bud, and birds return, at least in Alberta). I took this picture of robins last spring and saw them again the other day. I have faith that spring will return each year and I will have the opportunity to reflect and forgive once again.
Many blessings to you all! Happy Easter, a time of reflection and new beginnings.