Went to the church where we had the services for my parents on Sunday.
I liked the scripture, Exodus 34:29-35 about Moses coming down from Mt Sinai and veiling his face because it was shining from his encounter with God, then revealing himself, and 2 Corinthians 3:12 – 4:2 which talks about the obligation to not be like Moses, but to have an unveiled face, seeing the glory of the Lord shining from us. And I liked the homily, a call to participate in the joy of the church, to be present and serve. They were all lessons that spoke to me and my obligation to enter my own extreme energy, not to try and hide it behind a veil.
But there was a “Living Gospel” drama where a fellow told a story as Barrabas, the insurrectionist that the Jews let escape crucifixion rather than setting Jesus free. There are only a few lines about him in the Gospels, and the function of the story has been seen as showing that it wasn’t the Romans who chose to kill Jesus, rather it was the Jews who let off someone fighting Roman rule instead.
With such little text in the Gospels, you have to make up story to talk about Barrabas.
A resurrectionist story might be that Barrabas was the first person saved by Jesus’ sacrifice, and that he learned lessons that gave him a new birth, a new life. This supports the notion that it is the rebirth that is the important part of the Christian story.
They chose instead to take a crucifxionist view, so their Barrabas, still dressed in prison jumpsuit and do-rag acted as witness to the crucifixion and explained how it was the worst death of any human ever. This is a common convention in some Christian theology, though the ability of some humans to inflict cruelty is great, and there clearly have been more gruesome deaths than crucifixion in history, deaths with more suffering over a longer period.
It’s just a story, sure, but what amazed me is how riled up I got at this theological story that I found cheap, easy and misplaced. It reminded me how much I care about stories, how meaningful they are to me. Enough to get passionate about.
I went to a “Living With Loss” group last night, and while the group engaged challenges that most people could comment on, like what to do with airplane tickets that had to be used up, or how to manage memorial art, they did not reach out to engage the shards of my story I offered in the short time I took to speak. No one came over to shake my hand and invite me back. I’m used to being “extreme” as my sister calls me, my lifemyth always being that I am too something for the room.
“It’s harder the second year,” was wisdom on offer last night, “because then you are not so numb.”
Yeah, the numbness lifting and the engaging of emotion is hard, very, very hard.
The world likes the veil, but the call is to remove it and shine.
It’s just that then comes the passion, the feeling and that is not something other veiled people are ready for.
I trust my connection with my creator. I don’t trust my connection with others in the world, even if they are also parts of my creator.
Does my passion, my intensity, my extremeness have a place in the world?