Virtue, David. “Green One Rising, but is it Jesus. Episcopal Presiding Bishop Expounds on Easter.” Virtueonline.org. 24 Mar 2015. http://www.virtueonline.org/green-one-rising-it-jesus-episcopal-presiding-bishop-expounds-easter. Accessed 24 Mar 2015
Green One Rising but is it Jesus? Episcopal Presiding Bishop Expounds on Easter
Green One Rising but is it Jesus? Episcopal Presiding Bishop Expounds on Easter
Jefferts Schori omits bodily resurrection of Jesus in Easter message
By David W. Virtue DD
March 24, 2015
The Presiding Bishop's 2015 Easter message to all Episcopalians decidedly omits any reference to the bodily resurrection of Jesus, a position consistent with what she has said in the past, now fully made manifest here.
In her message on the empty tomb, the focus is decidedly on women (in keeping with TEC's desperate concern to focus on feminism, lesbianism and Mother Jesus). Specifically, Mary appears at the tomb of Jesus. Upon learning he is no longer there, the PB opines and says: "She peers in once more -- who are these, so bold appearing? Fear not, woman... why do you weep? She turns away and meets another, who says the same -- why do you weep, who are you looking for? This gardener has himself been planted and now springs up green and vibrant, still rising into greater life. He challenges her to go and share that rising, great news of green and life, with those who have fled."
As one wag noted on reading her Easter message, "In Katharine Jefferts Schori's Easter missive, the message of Jesus' Resurrection is like the seed scattered among the thorns: it is choked by weeds - green weeds."
In reading her Easter guide to spring planting, I remain uncertain as to whether or not the gardener is Jesus. I note the lack of a capital "G". He himself is planted and then spring[s] up green, so my abiding suspicion is that this is nothing other than a roundabout way of encouraging churches to enhance their electrical plant by installing more rooftop solar panels.
Indeed. If you took out the word "gardener" and replaced it with Viagra and changed the color from green to red, who would know the difference! Perhaps the folks at Integrity could persuade the Episcopal Divinity School to give Jefferts Schori an honorary doctorate for her new "green" insights!
Jefferts Schori opines, "The risen one still offers life to those who will look for evidence of his gardening -- hope, friendship, healing, reunion, restoration -- to all who have been uprooted, cut off, to those who are parched and withered, to those who lie wasting in the desert. Why do we weep or run away when that promise abides?" Note there is no capital "O" for one. So who is she talking about? If not Jesus, who?
Is the risen one a mere product of the order of nature and this is little more than a rendition of spring time in the garden?
In her last Christmas message the Presiding Bishop said, "Jesus is among us like a flitting moth".
Which begs the question, so is He the light, or is he only drawn to the light (ours), like some sort of benevolent bug? The butterfly, it should be noted, is the symbol of the Resurrection. Asked about the literal story of Easter and the Resurrection, she replied, "I think Easter is most profoundly about meaning, not mechanism."
There you have it. The bodily resurrection is either unnecessary or has meaning only insofar as you choose to give it meaning. And don't forget, it is all about green and spring.
As one commentator noted, "Meaning does occasionally struggle defiantly to raise its head in this epistle, but it is ruthlessly suppressed by the keen mind of the Presiding Bishop."
Now contrast what the Apostle Paul said of the resurrection and see if you can square it with what Jefferts Schori says. "For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (Jefferts Schori makes no mention of sin at all), that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time... then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born."
And this: "But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." (I Cor. 15)
Is it any wonder The Episcopal Church is no longer a safe place for Episcopalians or Christians wanting to switch denominations? This is what you have to look forward too and it bears little resemblance to historic Christianity.
It is also why the Anglican Church in North America exists.
You can read her entire Easter message here:
Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop's Easter Message 2015
"The only place we will not find him is in the tomb."
[March 23, 2015] "We will find him already there before us, bringing new and verdant life," Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori states in her Easter Message 2015. "The only place we will not find him is in the tomb."
In 2015, Easter is celebrated on April 5.
The following is the Presiding Bishop's Easter Message 2015.
Easter Message 2015
It's still dark when Mary ventures out to find the tomb. The graveyards around Jerusalem don't have much greenery today. The earth is mostly rock and stone, and it is far from easy to make a place to secure a body. Jesus' body was put in a cave-like space, with a stone rolled across the opening to close it up. Mary has made the journey from wherever she's sheltered over the last day, through darkened streets, perhaps hearing cocks begin to crow and townspeople start to stir.
She nears the place, but somehow it seems different than they left it -- this can't be it, can it? Who moved the stone? A trip begun in tears and grief now has added burden-- confusion, anger, shock, chaos, abandonment. His very body has been stolen.
She runs to tell the others. The three tear back to the tomb -- no, the body is not there, though some of the burial cloths remain. Who has torn away the shroud and stolen him away? Why must the cruel torture continue, sacrilege and insult even after death? Who has done this awful thing? The men run away again, leaving her to weep at even greater loss.
She peers in once more -- who are these, so bold appearing? "Fear not, woman... why do you weep?" She turns away and meets another, who says the same -- why do you weep, who are you looking for? This gardener has himself been planted and now springs up green and vibrant, still rising into greater life. He challenges her to go and share that rising, great news of green and life, with those who have fled.
Still rising, still seeking union with Creator, making tender offering to beloved friends -- briefly I am with you, I am on my way. Go and you will find me if you look.
The risen one still offers life to those who will look for evidence of his gardening -- hope, friendship, healing, reunion, restoration -- to all who have been uprooted, cut off, to those who are parched and withered, to those who lie wasting in the desert. Why do we weep or run away when that promise abides?
We can find that green one, still rising, if we will go stand with the grieving Marys of this world, if we will draw out the terrified who have retreated to their holes, if we will walk the Emmaus road with the lost and confused, if we will search out the hungry in the neighborhood called Galilee. We will find him already there before us, bringing new and verdant life. The only place we will not find him is in the tomb.