Can a new thing be said about Easter? I don’t think so. Were there a new thing to say—a new twist—whose twist? Whose gospel? Mine? And yet repeating old thoughts is just slogans, which are not worth saying twice. Are we then stuck? Throughout its ages, religion has very often gotten stuck in its old thoughts and power has always been the sticking point . . .
Will Christianity pass away? Will some other religion or philosophy take its place? You hear such questions from time to time . . . A scripture says that “nothing will be impossible with God.” On the question whether God will keep God’s savings in the church forever, we might better err on the side of caution.
Was there really a Judas? Or was the character “Judas” a creation of the first Christians who told these stories–a way for them to utter an ineradicable curse upon all their brothers who would not see Messiah in their master Jesus? I do not know the answer to that question. All of us know, however, that through every generation from the first, the church beat words into weapons to torment Jews and kill them as Judases. How unblessed are those who see others as enemies and thus preserve their righteousness.
Protestants say of sacraments that there are not the Catholic seven, but rather only two, because 500 years ago, Luther and Calvin found only two commandments on Jesus’ to-do list: baptize, and celebrate a supper “remembering me.” Yet they dismissed from their short list a third command: “You also ought to wash one another’s feet, for I have set you an example, that you do even as I have done unto you.” . . . This is a sacrament of subversion–and John’s gospel tells of no other . . .
Every week or two for many years, I have spent a couple of hours in conversation and reflection with men in the prisons at Attica or Sing Sing. It has been my privilege to learn with men who are keen to think and feel their way through the possibility of changing their lives. In this, the men I know show more inner freedom than the average person on the outside . . .