Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Belief and Bunnies and New Beginnings

Pink Azalea in the Mynell Gardens on East Sunday
For Easter this year Jo and I went to a Unitarian Universalist church service. Overall, it was really cool. The service was held in the Mynell Gardens special for Easter. The Gardens feature a variety of plants as mentioned in the Bible such as Cedars of Lebanon. Before the service there was a drum circle where a small, diverse group of people played songs on diverse sets of drums. It was really cool and beautiful.

During the service they did a lot of audience-interaction sorts of things where the person at the front of the congregation would read or sing part of a poem or song and then everyone would join in on the following refrain or chorus. There was also a solo saxophone number and then another musical number with the saxophone and one of the drums.

The main speaker for the service lost the majority of my attention as he spoke about Jesus and fishing. Then toward the end of his speech he said, "I don't believe that Jesus died for my sins, but I believe he lived what he believed." I found that very interesting mostly because I'm not sure what Unitarian Universalists believe. This particular one confused me beyond all reason, but I've since learned that Unitarians generally don't have any set beliefs or doctrine. They welcome anyone to their meetings regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, time spent in prison, etc. And other than a slight focus on the earth and taking care of the earth, I don't know what they teach or preach.

My ignorance aside, the speaker finished off his talk with histories and traditions other than those of Christ's resurrection with regards to Easter. Wikipedia will of course say that Easter is a Christian holiday, which has never really made a whole lot of sense since it's not like Christmas which is on a specific day every year. I never really knew before what determined when Easter was until today when I looked it up. Easter falls on the first Sunday after the full moon that follows the vernal equinox on March 21, and can therefore be anywhere between March 22 and April 25. With that description though, it sounds much more of a Pagan tradition (with my very limited understanding on either subject, of course) just because if Easter really was supposed to be the day that Jesus rose from the dead, wouldn't it be on the same day every year??

The Vernal Equinox is when night and day are the same length and it marks the first day of Spring, which in every way--pagan or christian or atheist--is a symbol and literal iteration of rebirth and regeneration.

I'm not Pagan (although I'd love to learn more about Pagan beliefs) and I definitely not Christian, but I celebrate life. I love Spring. I love seeing how Mother Earth is born again every spring. I know that beliefs are hard to share because they are ideas more than tangible or explainable concepts, but I believe in life and regeneration--how could anyone not after seeing Spring after Spring bring new buds and leaves and flowers? And I believe in life and regeneration in a greater sense, too. Maybe I'm getting at something a bit more Buddhist, but when I die I believe I will return to that greater part of me which I like to call Mother Earth and maybe I will give birth or perhaps be reborn into something like this:

Bunnies are apparently a Pagan symbol for fertility, and eggs are charms historically set on headstones as charms for rebirth--neither one has anything to do with Christianity. 

History and traditions are sure interesting, aren't they?

Write on!


  1. I love spring too- and pink flowers are beautiful!

    (Stopping by from the A to Z Challenge)

  2. Hello from the A to Z. Kudos to you for doing the challenge on 2 blogs! I just read your boot post and wandered over to this blog :) I like that you've addressed this from so many different aspects, rather than just the Christianity side of things. Happy blogging!