Easter, April foolery and the Resurrection Life

By Jill Segger
April 2, 2018

Prior to this year, Easter Sunday and April Fool’s Day last coincided in 1956 and will next do so in 2029. What this juxtaposition might have to say to us about teasing, falsehood, discernment, truth and myth seems worth a little attention.

For me, part of setting off to Meeting for Worship with ‘heart and mind prepared’, is to scan my Twitter feed. Not all Friends will agree with this practice, but I find that taking a sounding of what is – not always accurately – termed an ‘echo chamber’ is a help in sifting wheat and chaff and in making some soul-space for that which I might find strange, unsettling or challenging.

So it was that yesterday a tweet from the National Secular Society took my attention. The spoof was fairly obvious but nonetheless had a worthwhile point to make. It advertised a “halal certified” chocolate egg “symbolising the disestablishment of the Church of England to counter growing confectionery-based proselytisation.” Some responses to this tweet indicated a failure to realise that the bars of a few cages were being rattled. But none of us should take refuge in smuggery here. Let who is without vulnerability to confirmation bias cast the first self-congratulatory stone.

You are unlikely to find much exuberance or triumph in a Quaker Meeting on Resurrection day. Nonetheless, it is probable that an understanding of the concept of myth, which runs counter to its present day debasement into a synonym for untruth, may be experienced there. I think it fairly safe to say that not many Quakers believe in a physical resurrection. And yet, and yet…

When those we love leave this sphere of being, we grieve for the ‘no longer thereness'. The loss of that means by which we have known each other, in mind, sense and sensuality is devastating. We may, in our longing to bridge the great gulf, fall to a delusion which ultimately blinkers us to the immense and generous gift which is actually being made available to us in the real meaning of myth – a story told about truth.

I believe that gift to be the Resurrection Life. A state of being which sweeps away the notion that all which Jesus incarnated could be defeated and extinguished. The powers of Empire, cruelty, greed, fear, violence and appeal to the false consolations of prejudice could not stand against the love which moves the stars and which is "stronger than death". That life finds its truth both in this phase of being and in that which we will find when our organisms cease to function. Let us set it as a seal upon our hearts.

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© Jill Segger is an Associate Director of Ekklesia with particular involvement in editorial issues. She is a freelance writer who contributes to the Church Times, Catholic Herald, Tribune, Reform and The Friend, among other publications. Jill is an active Quaker. You can follow Jill on Twitter at: http://www.twitter.co/quakerpen

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