Today is Easter for the Christians, Passover for the Jews, and the bridge makers of it all sometimes sigh: What exactly does He is Risen truly mean? Last night, I watched “Jesus Christ Superstar” again. I’ve watched it ritually for close to forty years. Ted Neeley is still playing the part of Jesus in his seventies, and, worldwide. Where does he get his vitamins to move onward every year? He imbues the kindness of Jesus as well as his human frustration as he plays that powerful role. “Father forgive them for they know not what they do” takes on a deeper meaning. Last night, I put on the captions and actually sang along. Why not? But as I studied those captions, I realized dialog I had missed even with my repetitive viewing on Good Friday or Holy Saturday. It became clear that often the lyrics were subtle Sometimes they were evocative: “Jesus is cool” voiced by the high Sanhedrin priest.
And then the dialogs of Jesus and Judas. Clearly the love between the two of them was there as well as the agony. Tim Rice, the lyricist, is my hero. He brought the story to life, not just another repetition of something written so long ago. It is timeless.
Well, here is where I’m going with this blog: What if He is Risen was reflected in all our thinking? What if Redemption, ah the elusive word, was ACTIVE NOW. Redeem? Rise? Crucifixion? Forgiveness. All the words repeated ritually just might take on a new meaning.
We are smack in the middle of global change whether we wish it or not. This “Holy Week” I contemplated who actually cooked the Last Supper. Now there’s a subtle veering to the side I honestly thought: Wow! The girls are at the market buying the lamb today (Tuesday). Wow! The girls are prepping the roast for cooking and doing side dishes. I even asked a Jewish friend what kind of side dishes would be at the Last Supper? Sure it appears humorous but in fact, it’s kind of nice to wonder. We glean over so much in our rituals. And then I went to “Who cleaned up the dishes?” Women quietly did their thing then as we do now but often invisibly.
What I’m trying to say is this: What if we just threw out all the ritual repetition and allowed ourselves to feel the Rising from a very personal space. Maybe we could throw out bigotry, judgment and taking any sides and oh yes, TWEET kindness for all. Sure I’m Polly Anna again but Polly also rises. Our planet, our people, our nations our states, our cities, our homes just might HEAL.