Easter weekend

It is Easter weekend and I am staying in the Rectory with my parents. As both of them are vicars responsible for different churches, they are in and out all weekend. The station of the cross on Good Friday after the night vigil on Thursday. My mother has already returned from her service this evening, but my father is still out doing his in the darkness. At dawn tomorrow my mother will be lead her congregation in another vigil, and then the main service later in the morning. It is Easter weekend, marking the key events upon which their entire theology hangs.

The crucifixion, the burial and the resurrection. Christians believe that the crucifixion represents the ultimate example of God’s love, the only means by which we are forgiven for our sins. Thus this weekend is a time of emotion for them, a time for reflection and giving thanks. It is a time of contemplation, and yet logically I find it a somewhat peculiar theology. The walls in my mother’s office are lined with books, mostly on different aspects of Christian theology. It is not that they have not reflected on it; in fact they believe in it with passion, considering it an altogether coherent philosophy. They live and breeth this theology. It is everything to them.

Still, I find it peculiar. For me, the ultimate example of God’s compassion cannot be seen in a ransom. Instead it is that beautiful and humbling moment when we turn to Him alone, regardless of what we have done, repenting sincerely. He does not require a sacrifice or an atoning saviour. He merely asks us to turn to Him in repentance and He will forgive us. The simplicity of the act is its blessing.

Let the Christians dwell on the cross and the empty tomb, but I will continue to dwell on the words of the Qur’an, on the supplications we are taught to say when we er and on that famous Hadith Qudsi:

O son of Adam, so long as you call upon Me and ask of Me, I shall forgive you for what you have done, and I shall not mind. O son of Adam, were your sins to reach the clouds of the sky and were you then to ask forgiveness of Me, I would forgive you. O son of Adam, were you to come to Me with sins nearly as great as the earth and were you then to face Me, ascribing no partner to Me, I would bring you forgiveness nearly as great as it.

That indicates an infinetly more generous Lord. My sins could be like mountains, but God promises forgiveness so long as I turn to Him. No cross, no tomb, no crown of thorns. Just simple words from a sincere heart.

7 thoughts on “Easter weekend”

  1. My brother

    I sometimes marvel at the immense power and beauty of all the hadiths qudsi. They are truly moving and strike to the very core of our souls.

    Abdul-Haq

  2. Salaam Dear Tim:
    What a wonderful blog and post. As a fellow traveler on a spiritual path, may I commend to you my book, Master of the Jinn: A Sufi Novel, a mystical adventure tale on the Sufi path of Love. I think you will really like it.
    To view the book and read reviews and an excerpt, go to http://www.masterofthejinn.com

    Ya Haqq,

    Irving

  3. So much to read. Everyone is sending me books. Last week we received four English classics: Wodehouse, Wilde, Orwell and Lee. There are the UKIA books which arrive everytime they publish a new book. This weekend I received “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Survive” and “Watching the English”. And despite this I just picked up a fat compendium of four works by Charles Dickens because I feel like this instead.

  4. Salam,

    please will you write something, something nice, to make one smile and feel a little content inside.

    wasalam

  5. Watching the English is marvellous. It is particularly enjoyable reading it I think as someone with one foot in English culture and another hovering outside it somewhere.

    Have we spoken about this book before?

  6. We have not – but you have mentioned to me Paxman’s rendering. I should like to quote from this edition at an opportune moment – her analyis of “The Weather” is wonderful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

fourteen − eleven =