An Apologia: Eastertide or the Great 50 Days, running from Easter Day (this year, April 17) to the Day of Pentecost (this year, falling on June 5), grants an opportunity for a deeper dive into the mystery of the Christian claim of the resurrection of Jesus.
Looking at our lives as reflected in the story of Jesus’ crucifixion, I behold a conspicuous feature. Common for and in all of us…
Sin. The word, from the Greek, hamartia, literally means “to miss the mark.”
Sin, in my view, is less about our iniquity, our failing to measure up to some standard of morality and more about our falling short of an essential human authenticity. We, by nature – being self-interested, thus, often making (or tempted to make) decisions based on the practicalities of our advantage and aggrandizement or the expediencies of our comfort and convenience and, at times, irrespective of the sacrifices, even sufferings of others – are less than true to our best selves.
From the beginning of time, it seems to me that we humans have dealt with sin in two basic ways…
We internalize it. Blaming, beating up on ourselves. Listening to the long-playing, never-ending psychological tapes of our characteriological flaws, which we, at times, objectify as if they were separate, wholly other beings.
We externalize it. Blaming, beating up on others. Recording and reciting their flaws; perhaps demonizing them, their imperfections becoming for us the personification of their whole human being and doing.
Either way and to whatever the degree, we seek scapegoats. We make victims. Some of our more historically grandiose efforts, we call wars. Some of our more acceptable, legal efforts, we call justice. But whatever, no matter, a victim is chosen, blame is cast, violence is done, blood is shed.
To be continued…
© 2022 PRA
Illustration: Resurrection (1896), James Tissot (1836-1902)