The long religious and secular weekend is over. The Bank Holiday draws to an end and the liturgical celebrations of Easter reached their climax the day before yesterday. As Quakers do not keep these 'times and seasons', I find myself caught in a challenging no-woman's land at Easter and Christmas.
A cultural event sponsored by the Church of Scotland and taking place on 'Assembly Sunday' — May 22nd, 2011 — will seek to illustrate the connections between the Kirk, Scottish Christianity and the life of the wider community.
With Easter Sunday this year coinciding for the first time with the memorial day for the 1915 Armenian Genocide, Harry Hagopian explores a painful history and asks how, in the present and future, those who inherit the mantle of the victims can move forward to discover new life.
If you're not convinced that Anzac Day in New Zealand bears the hallmarks of fundamentalist religious belief, try questioning anything about the state's most holy day and feel the vitriolic reaction, says Sande Ramage, exploring the myths around Easter and Anzac, which coincide in 2011.
Through the Gospel of resurrection, says Savi Hensman, God is not just a remote ruler, but intimately present, able to empower the despairing and defeated so that they can play their part in transforming the world.
Christians agree that the death and resurrection of Jesus is central to their faith. But as soon as we try to understand the ‘how’ and ‘why’, it becomes much more difficult to articulate this belief. Alison Goodlad suggests that the evocation of poet R. S. Thomas is among the imaginative resources that construe meaning with vitality, while 'leaving the reason torn'.
This text and podcast is the first of five reflective radio talks for Easter from Harry Hagopian, focusing on the presence, life and witness of the often-forgotten historic Christian communities across the Middle East. The first coming of Jesus occurred in Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem - not in London or elsewhere in the world - we are reminded today.