I've had several memorable Easters. The most unpleasant was when I was about nine or ten. Mom had the idea that it would be great if she dressed me in a new navy blue suit, white shirt, a clip on tie and shined "Sunday shoes." I didn't like the idea and fought the tie and suit coat all day long. The tie kept coming, off with my assistance, but either Dad or Mom would clip it back on with a grim look on their face. Somewhere there are pictures of that unpleasant Easter. I think that event spoiled me on wearing ties. I often wear a tie but I don't really like them. The most memorable Easter was serving communion to a tour group with Dr. Wayne Ward in Jerusalem's Gordon's Calvary and Garden Tomb. Gordon's Garden was what I imagined Calvary and the garden tomb to be like although it probably isn't the real place. That experience in that place made the crucifixion and resurrection very real. That even has made me believe that Communion needs to be taken regularly; maybe weekly rather than quarterly. The most significant Easter was my father's death. Dad died in Lexington on Good Friday, 1998. His funeral was Easter evening. The next day we flew with his body to Shawnee, Oklahoma, for his burial beside my mother who died in 1987. Every since Dad's death, Good Friday and Easter have had a deeper and more personal meaning. I'm not sure what Easter 2013 will hold for us. A significant aspect of Easter is waiting.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Greed may be the original sin of Adam and Eve. Some of the Desert Fathers and Mothers of the church believed this. These early church leaders thought that Adam and Eve were not content with what God had provided. There was something more that was within their reach and that was desirable. So, they took it for themselves. That's greed. It seems to me that greed is underneath the other deadly sins such as lust, gluttony, anger, envy, etc. Just because something is desirable and within one's reach doesn't always mean that we should take it. Greed is the spirit within us that hasn't answered the question, "How much is enough?" Greed doesn't seem to have a 'stop button.' Erich Fromm, a Psychoanalyst and Social Philosopher wrote, "Greed is a bottomless pit which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction." Paul had evidently discerned the answer to greed when he wrote, "...for I have learned to be content with whatever I have." (Phil. 4:11, NRSV.) Greed haunts us like a demon seeking to destroy our lives, families, churches, communities, etc. We seem to have more and more than we really need, yet we are not content. The answer to our searching is evidently not outside of ourselves but, inside our self where our relationship with God is created and sustained.