I used to live in a city where I was surrounded by people practicing a variety of faith traditions, some which were basically opposite to my own. Today, that’s not the case. The small town I’ll call home for a couple more months is Bible-beltish to its core—according to ChaCha, there are approx 280 churches available to its 115,000 peeps. And though I was out of town for this past holiday weekend, it’s pretty safe to say that the town’s Easter Sunday pews were packed with people who fully identify as Christians.
I have found value living among like-minded folks who affirm and encourage beliefs that are so central to my being, such as the hope of miraculous resurrection and redemption—promises that sustain me when some of life’s circumstances seem so dark. But I also really miss regularly encountering uncomfortable clashes of ideas, vastly different viewpoints, and discussions that force me to question whether I truly think what I say I think, and to evaluate whether my actions actually reflect my beliefs.
For this reason, an experience I had this Easter felt like an extra special gift. I soaked up Dallas’ sunny afternoon sitting on a restaurant patio with a great friend who happens to be Jewish. He has no idea what it feels like to cram into an overflowing Easter church service, and shopping for special pastel or polka-dotted outfits (an annual event in my early childhood household) was definitely not a part of his past. Having had a stereotypically “Christian” morning of an early church service followed a delicious family brunch, the time with my friend reminded me how small my box can be.
After our meet-up, he passed along a funny David Sedaris clip that gave me some solid laughs and served as a reminder that people across the world view the Easter holiday from countless perspectives. My perspective? I depend upon Jesus and his resurrection power, his baffling grace, and his unfailing presence. But when I step back, isn’t that quite a funny faith to profess?
Sedaris makes the point with a humorous story that hopefully doesn’t offend:
How would you describe Easter?