Happy Easter!

/ 24 March 2008

I’ve been engaged in a bit of a long-distance argument with a family member about the merits (or lack thereof) of Barack Obama’s speech last week, and one of my stepfather’s “parting shots” (he likes to close his emails with provocative statements, kind of a “getting the last word in” thing), was “believing is easy, thinking is hard.”

In the light of the Easter story, I actually think he's got it wrong, in precisely the opposite way. I think that BELIEVING is hard, and that thinking (or at least what passes for it these days?) is pretty easy. If part of what thinking is about is making purely rational arguments based on evidence, you can find it very difficult to make a case for God, let alone a God who breaks into history as a human being, born as an infant, and who grows up to find his life culminating in the gruesome execution that is crucifixion.

Yet that is the central belief of Christianity.

I NEEDED the three days this year (the Triduum). I needed them in a soul-hungry, not-possible-to-explain way. I needed them in the midst of the 5-year anniversary of our occupation of Iraq. I needed them in the midst of friends and family members dealing with life-stealing illnesses. I needed them in the midst of the fears of global climate change, terror organizations, and recession/depression. But mostly I needed them because I think that believing is much harder than thinking, and that we need to do it together, in community.