This month, two ancient stories of liberation invite us to free ourselves from our own “slaveries” and to help other’s with theirs.
One story is the death and resurrection Jesus Christ. Jesus’ life was all about liberation – from the status quo of social, political, economic and spiritual oppression. The liberation of Jesus from death, was said to liberate us all from sin. What does liberation from sin mean?
- Does it mean forgiveness?
- Does this liberation call us to forge (re)newed bonds of love and forgiveness to confront the sins of the kind of oppression that killed Jesus?
- Does it mean we can be liberated from our own oppression, our own failings and our internal enslavements of judgments, prejudices, resentments, apathy, ignorance, and fear (that often leads to external sins)?
- Does it mean that by embracing a deeper love for ourselves we can forgive ourselves, and others?
The other story is the Passover. The time when the Jews (called Hebrews back then) were liberated from centuries of slavery, by the hand of God, by the of hand Moses, and by their own hand. Every year in the celebration of Passover (the Seder) in homes and in the community, the story of this liberation is told. We remember the hardships endured and the strength needed to become free. The part of the Seder where the ten plagues are recalled is often an invitation to acknowledge the plagues of our time, in order to move towards freedom, for all: discrimination, bigotry, intimidation, occupation, fear, corruption, violence, homophobia, invisibility, imprisonment.
The end of the Seder invites the spirit of Elijah and Miram to come into our homes, to bring peace, again. What also happens at the end, is an invitation to the children – the hope for our renewed future – to find the missing matzah (afikomen) so that the Seder can end, and we can move from telling the story, to living a new one.
The movement from slavery to freedom, liberation, is a movement to creation and renewal.
Jesus’ resurrection created a new world, as did the release of the Hebrews. Both these stories also invite us to renew our faith in the possibilities of Liberation.
Liberation IS essentially Creation. Freedom from a known, and a coming into being….the being of the unknown, or rather the re-known. Renewal.
Liberation is a renewal of our connection to what we already know, but have temporarily forgotten.
- That we are free
- We are beautiful and wise, beyond what we can comprehend in our own eyes & heart, but, thankfully, not in the eyes & hearts of those that love us
- Our true worth is not measured by ANY external, conditional metric
- All are worthy of Love, Compassion and Kindness, regardless of our past, our present or our future
- Sorrow and joy feel different, but have the same consequence (if we allow) – opening our hearts to ourselves, our humanness, to others and all of humanity, if we allow
- Every person and every experience has something to teach
- Every one, EVERYONE messes up – that’s part of how we all human in the same way
- Our humanity includes forgetting all of these (and more), to again remember. And not just remember, but celebrate in the remembering.
During this month of April, when we are liberated from winter into renewal and the creative forces of spring, and when we remember the inspiring stories of freedom; may we remember the ways we keep ourselves in slavery, and choose to move towards a freer life. May we be strengthened by the courage of our ancestors and community to open our hearts to each other with more Love and Peace.