Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.
The act of belief, of faith in that basic, sacred divine progression is one I honestly wrestle with.
As most of my friends know, I self-identify as a Christian, albeit a very liberal, progressive, left-leaning one. I believe that the most important part of my faith is this:
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these. Matthew 22:30-31
I wholeheartedly believe that God is a positive, creative, loving influence in our world, and we Christians and other good men and women are God’s hands here on hearth. It is our responsibility, our sacred obligation, to love, serve, accept, encourage and give generously.
What I have a harder time with is the more metaphysical dimensions of faith.
I’m not sure I believe in a literal heaven and hell or eternal life, or verbal inspiration of the bible. (I do still believe it’s a sacred text, with many truths that stand through the centuries.)
I don’t believe in spiritual warfare, in angels and demons warring over our every action. (If there are angels, I think they have more important things to worry about than my F-bomb habit.)
While I certainly believe we humans have the power to destroy ourselves in any number of ways, I’m very skeptical of the second coming of Christ, and find any debate over pre- or post-tribulation rapture to be kind of ludicrous. (How about feeding the hungry instead?)
I can believe, in a symbolic sense, that Christ conquered death and hell to give us life. That Christ taught us, through sacrifice, what unconditional love is, and through him we can learn about love and selfless living. That Christ, as God made flesh, is a transformational bridge between the human condition and the divine that makes divine love accessible to us all.
With that, in spite of the stubborn blind spots in my faith, I can celebrate Easter.
Alleluia! Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed. Alleluia!