Sunday, April 12, 2009
A Fiber Artist's Perspective on Easter
I should be at church right now as it is Easter Sunday. For Christians, this is one of the big days to go and celebrate the life of Christ and the hope we have of life after death with Him. But, I stayed home and spent some time on YouTube looking at Easter related videos. For those of you who are Christians, have a wonderful day. And, for those of you who are not, may your day be filled with joy also!
I have always had a an interest in religion and how it impacts society. As a missionary kid in Brazil, both church and being American defined our daily lives. As an artist, these experiences and how I translate my beliefs often surfaces in my work. As a wife, being married to a Muslim announces my commitment to ecumenism, religious tolerance and love for the other. As a silly person, humor helps keep things in perspective.
I found some videos that tell the Easter story in a visual manner which I hope you will enjoy. This first one does a decent job at looking at world religions and identifying why Jesus is unique to Christians:
Jesus Christ Superstar was one of my favorite movies as a teenager. In fact, my father took me to see it and we had great discussions after it. Interestingly enough, the movie ends with the death of Christ and begs the question of his resurrection. Here are two clips from the old and newer versions:
Some of my non-Christian friends are horrified at how we, Christians, can laugh at our beliefs and make fun of God. For example, Monty Python's "Life of Brian" follows the life of a guy who was a contemporary of Christ and often gets mistaken for him. He ends up crucified as well. Some may think this is sacrilegious, but pastor's kids especially, need to vent their anxieties about having to be good somehow! You wouldn't believe how many Jesus jokes we knew as kids. "Jesus walks into the inn, lays three stakes down on the table and asks, 'Can you put me up for the night?' " The need for this humor has lessened for me with age, but Eric Idle singing "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" while he is on the cross will always be a favorite of mine!
Finally, music is central to both our Easter experience and religious tradition.
Christianity should be, but is not, a united front. We are split between the Right and Left (and a bunch of splinters in between and on the outside), often making it difficult to remember that our common ground is Christ. We often appear to be even separate religions. But, central to all the religions is love, tolerance, forgiveness, compassion and these take a lifetime to understand and develop. So, we each start with what we have and hopefully create a domino effect towards peace, both in our spiritual lives and in our work. Peace be with us all!