by Jeff Kisling
Easter morning, 2016
It used to make me uncomfortable to think about the miracles of Jesus’ birth and rising from the dead. One of the reasons I have remained a Quaker is that most of it “makes sense” to me. Most of the rituals and the structures of many modern Christian practices seem aimed at supporting an organization rather than the teachings of Jesus (and thus don’t “make sense”).
The simple approach of Quakers seems more consistent with Jesus’ teachings, with our emphasis on living our faith in every aspect of our everyday lives. We seek to obey what Jesus said were the two greatest commandments, to love God above all else, and our neighbors as ourselves. Our neighbors include every single person, no exceptions.
With age and experience, though, I appreciate more and more the mysteries of life, and those things I don’t understand. Because they stimulate me to continue to explore and learn, and marvel at new understandings. Wouldn’t life be dull if we thought we knew everything?
What is miraculous to me is the revolution that the lives of Jesus, and those who followed the same path, like Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr, caused, and how that revolution continues to this day. This message stands diametrically opposed to today’s trend to emphasize oneself above all else, and stands opposite the very idea of privilege.
I watched the movie “Glory” last night, and was moved once again by the courage and wisdom and faith of Martin Luther King, Jr, and the thousands who daily faced mighty forces of opposition and violence.