“I remember Sunday School, we would hear about the time
Moses split the sea in two, and Jesus made the water wine.
And I remember feeling sad, that miracles didn’t happen still.
But now, you know, I can’t keep track, cause everything’s a miracle.”
— Peter Mayer (Everything is Holy Now)
“And on the morning of the third day, they arose and went to the tomb…”
Humans didn’t always think in linear terms — point A has to somehow pass through B before you can get to point C. We didn’t always think in terms of Cause and Effect: don’t put the cart before the horse or else you’ll go nowhere. Meanwhile, the mindfulness practitioner was somehow saying, as far back as the 3rd century (BCE), something like, “Don’t just do something, sit there.”
Logic, rational thinking, the doctrine of inference, and deduction and induction, and on and on, linear thinking has probably been around for a long time, but many would argue it never really got footing until the invention of the printing press. Eventually, the way we all learned something was with word following word, sentence after sentence, chapter following chapter. Movie following book and sequel following sequel. The world seen through the lens of logical order.
The problem is that not everything comes into focus through the lens of logic and linear thought. Art, romance, evil, pain, joy, and suffering. Racial hatred and forbidden love. Working hard to save for life and then losing life to sudden illness. A whole bunch of life just doesn’t seem to swim in the linear pool.
But then something else happens. A different way of thinking maybe? You let go of the linear line up and start to experience something lighter than fiction and more inspiring than life itself. It’s not always rational. It might be a child’s laughter or a sudden burst of sunlight through some dreary, dark threatening clouds. Joy shows up in unexpected places.
The 15th century Christian mystic, Meister Eckhart said, “If the only prayer you prayed was, ‘thank you’, then that would suffice.” And he may just be onto something. Gratitude has a way of changing up the linear storyline. Gratitude has a way of resurrecting lifeless and even dire moments, so much so that even the stoic and stiff pharisaic Apostle Paul had the clairvoyance to say, “In all things give thanks.”
Gratitude, you might even argue, opens the way to resurrection, to a sudden renewal, a complete transformation, of the way things were.
This Sunday, let’s celebrate Easter and the possibilities of new life, the “non -linear” presence of sudden joy and the Holy at the very ground of our being.
“Everything is holy now…”
Easter Sunday @ eleven:eleven, downtown
“it isn’t just what you think”
Rev Tom McDermott
featuring Hannah Kirby
and the inspirational music of
Duran Duran, Aretha Franklin, James Taylor, and Ben Harper
Come early for parking, pastries, and coffee!
See you Sunday,
Associate Pastor of eleven:eleven