We interrupt this Easter for a word from our sponsors…

I am not normally political. The mixing of church and state is repugnant to me on the deepest levels of my conscience. That is why I do not inject my religion into politics, and why I am infuriated this morning to read how President Obama has injected politics into my faith. Regardless of the merit of health care or education reform, the politicization of Easter is utterly meritless. The death of Christ Jesus is not a tool to be employed for our devices, but an implement of God’s divine will meant to act on humanity. To that end, I have a few correctives I would like to apply to the president’s heinous speech:*

“On this Easter weekend, let us hold fast to those aspirations we hold in common as brothers and sisters, as members of the same family — the family of man.”

But there is no “family of man,” because a family united by our humanity is nothing more than an evolutionary accident. It is a family without a father, and without the Father there is nothing which binds me to you as a brother. We are one in the “one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Work is important to people’s security and dignity, Obama said. “…as human beings, we seek not only the security, but the sense of dignity, the sense of community, that work confers.”

But as Christians, and at Easter most of all, we remember that our security comes in the unmitigated sovereignty of him who died for us, our dignity is derived from association with his majesty, and our community is one formed in and cemented by the blood of one Lord, with one hope and one faith and one baptism.

“Our health is the rock upon which our lives are built, for better and for worse.”

“Who is the Rock except our God?” If my life is built upon the rock of my health, then everything that I am and everything that I touch really is “just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.” My life must be founded on a firmer rock; rocks greater than the ones that trembled and split at the moment of my savior’s death, and much greater than the stone which tried in vain to contain the Lord of Hosts in his tomb. My rock is the “Rock of Israel.” “The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”

“All of us are striving to make a way in this world; to build a purposeful and fulfilling life in the fleeting time we have here. A dignified life. A healthy life. A life, true to its potential. And a life that serves others. These are aspirations that stretch back through the ages – aspirations at the heart of Judaism, at the heart of Christianity.”

The true aspiration of Christianity and the true message of Easter is one that transcends, even contravenes, human striving. It cries out against human self-sufficiency, our ability to achieve anything, be it dignity, health, or a truly fulfilling life. With the same voice it triumphantly announces that we may expect greater things than we ever imagined we could by our futile human striving, through one whose ways are ineffably higher than our own. This is the one who said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die.”

“Do you believe this?”

*This post quotes, in addition to Scripture, the presidential address and the news article which alerted me to it.

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