Saturday, April 4, 2015

It isn't Sunday yet

Originally a comment at Ana Mardoll's Ramblings, but then it occurred to me that I have no idea when I'll have a new post up, and while it might be informative for people to know that's because of money problems, a post about money problems is hardly the ideal thing to leave up for any length of time.  So, here is what I wrote about today, tomorrow, the difference between the two, preaching on the subway, the tomb of Genghis Khan, and that sort of stuff:


It's not Easter. It's Fred Clark's Saturday. It's an important day in holy week because it is a day to reflect on doubt, uncertainty, and the fear that maybe what you believe in is not, in fact, right.
Jesus lies dead, his followers have scattered. Only a select few remain and they are not the devout faithful few. They are the mourners.
By this time next year, will anyone remember the name of Jesus, the carpenter's son? What, really, was the point of all that?
The original Christians were not Christians yet on this day. They were, at best, proto-Christians. They had left their lives behind to follow a wandering rabbi that seemed a mass of contradictions and preached ideals they always seemed to fall short of. They'd seen impressive things done with fish and bread (and wine) but now their teacher was dead, the powers that be were triumphant, and all that remained was to prepare the corpse for burial.
That's today.
I'm not a Christian, but I'd think that this is an important day. We may talk about the the doubts of Thomas, but on this day they ALL had doubts. There was nothing but doubt, and nothing to suggest hope, save faith.
What had come before they had seen with their own eyes, but those same eyes saw their leader fall. For the first, and in many ways only, time the proto-Christians found themselves in the position of actual real live Christians alive today. No longer did they have a Jesus they could touch. No longer did they have miracles they could see. That was all over. They had a corpse most of them were afraid to visit for fear of the same punishment would fall on their heads.
The only thing they could cling to was unreasonable hope. Belief --in the absence of evidence, and indeed in defiance of evidence-- that maybe, just maybe, things would somehow work out.
And, for the most part, they didn't. There was a lot of giving up. (The women did a much better job on not abandoning him than the men did.)
That's a lot to pack into one day. A lot of stuff to think about once a year.
Nowhere in there is going out to the subway platform and telling people to repent or perish.
The signs didn't bother me. The people with the signs didn't bother me. The one guy giving a lecture to the people waiting for the next Red Line train to roll into Downtown Crossing in the direction of South Station bothered me.
"Does anyone know what Easter Sunday is about?"
We're in fucking Boston Massachusetts, I'm pretty sure you can't avoid learning that.* Boston, the place founded by people who left Europe because it wasn't fucking Christian enough for their tastes in spite of being really, really Christian and you have the nerve to ask if anyone on the entire god damned platform knows what Easter is about.
You know why God damned the platform? Because of you, random jerk who wanted to give us a Sunday sermon on Saturday. You have the nerve to give an Easter Sunday sermon on Holy Saturday. Being in a tunnel does not make it sundown, Easter is not here yet. Not in Boston.
But then he gets into talking about how people are dead. Muhammad, Buddha, Confucius, and so forth. They're dead, you can find their bones. There's only one person in history whose remains you can't find, meaning Jesus (not today, asshole, it's Saturday, Jesus' corpse is in the tomb, the resurrection is tomorrow and the ascension more than a month later), even though it is in fact the case that you can't find most people's remains.
But as he's going on and on about how there's this one person whose body you cannot find, I've had enough. I shout --a very quiet shout as shouts go, but definitely rising to the level of a shout-- "All hail Genghis Khan!" while raising my right hand, in a fist, into the air.
After all, no matter how hard we've looked, who has found the tomb of Temüjin?
I didn't actually look at the speaker as I said it. I was standing waiting for the train, staring at the empty space into which the train would, at some point, come.
I don't think anyone actually reacted to my outburst, which is for the best since the T is a place for guitar music, not theological debates over the importance of undiscovered remains. He was being an ass for pushing his beliefs onto others, my random veneration of Temüjin was hardly a better thing to force on the people who just wanted the damn train to arrive.
Someone who truly wished to engage with the annoying jerk, and had a good handle on scripture, would have cut him off before he could get to the whole, "No-corpse-man is Jesus," reveal and cut in agreeing that Enoch is really cool. After all, Jesus may have come back from the dead, but big deal; Enoch never died in the first place. He walked with God and was gone (Gen 5:24).
Try and beat that.
Anyway, I'm off the T and on the bus. Back to home I go.

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* Also, for the record, it's about Cadbury eggs. That clucking bunny that lays those delicious things is either a saint or a god, I know not which and neither do I care.

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