Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday Fragments

I am feeling more fragmented that I sometimes feel on Good Friday.  We've had a week between classes at work, but unlike some intersession weeks, this one hasn't been peaceful.  I've felt exhausted and beat up at the end of each day--but I can't put my finger on specific reasons why.

Luckily, there are plenty of other resources for Good Friday reflection:

--I like the post I wrote last year, with photos and brief meditations on the meaning of Good Friday.

--Beth sums up my feelings fairly precisely in this post that she wrote: 

"How many years have I been doing this -- attending most of the services, singing, listening to the story over and over, presented in different ways, in words, music, dance, drama? As an adult, at least twenty-five. Sometimes it happens: something breaks through the numbness and repetition and locks its fingers around my heart, and when the grip slowly releases, there's a new insight, connecting this story of suffering and acceptance to my own life or the world at large in a new way.

And sometimes it's like this year so far: an intellectual and artistic engagement that remains detached in spite of my desire for it to be otherwise."

Yes, detached.  I, too, feel a bit detached.

--If you've been contemplating what's being termed as the rise of the nones (meaning people who claim no religious affiliation), don't miss this essay in The Washington Post by Michael Gerson.  It's full of interesting statistics, like this one:  "In America’s case [unlike Europe's], the hypothesis remains unproved. While Americans have become less attached to religious institutions, there is little evidence they have become less religious. In 1992, according to the indispensable Pew Research Center, 58 percent of Americans described religion as “very important.” In 2012, it was . . . 58 percent. There is a similar stability in the proportion of Americans who regard prayer as an important part of their lives."

--I love the way that Gerson ends his essay:  "In religion, it is easy to measure what is dying; it is harder to locate the manger where something new is being born."

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