NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Happy Easter 2015!

When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go and anoint him. Very early when the sun had risen, on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb. They were saying to one another, “Who will roll back the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back; it was very large. On entering the tomb they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a white robe, and they were utterly amazed. He said to them, “Do not be amazed! You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Behold the place where they laid him. But go and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him, as he told you.’”

An East­er flower arrange­ment (Pho­to: Ralph Dai­ly, repro­duced under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

For your read­ing plea­sure on this joy­ous East­er Sun­day, here is an account of the Res­ur­rec­tion of Jesus Christ from the Gospel of Mark:

When the sab­bath was over,
Mary Mag­da­lene, Mary, the moth­er of James, and Salome
bought spices so that they might go and anoint him.
Very ear­ly when the sun had risen,
on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb.
They were say­ing to one anoth­er,
“Who will roll back the stone for us
from the entrance to the tomb?”
When they looked up,
they saw that the stone had been rolled back;
it was very large.
On enter­ing the tomb they saw a young man
sit­ting on the right side, clothed in a white robe,
and they were utter­ly amazed.
He said to them, “Do not be amazed!
You seek Jesus of Nazareth, the cru­ci­fied.
He has been raised; he is not here.
Behold the place where they laid him.
But go and tell his dis­ci­ples and Peter,
‘He is going before you to Galilee;
there you will see him, as he told you.’”

— Mark 16:1–7

The First Fam­i­ly is cel­e­brat­ing East­er this morn­ing at the Alfred Street Bap­tist Church in Alexan­dria, Vir­ginia. Accord­ing to the pool report, Pres­i­dent Oba­ma, First Lady Michelle Oba­ma and their chil­dren Sasha and Malia arrived around 10:25 AM East­ern Time, and were giv­en an enthu­si­as­tic wel­come.

After hymns and and offer­ing, the preach­er, Howard-John Wes­ley, start­ed his twen­ty-minute ser­mon say­ing he was going to “talk, reach and preach a lit­tle bit.” Every state­ment he made deserves an excla­ma­tion point.

He said you’ve got to make a deci­sion, and ref­er­enced the civ­il rights move­ment choos­ing between Mal­colm X and Mar­tin Luther King, Jr.; in the 70s, he said, choic­es were Cow­boys or Steel­ers.

For some, choic­es are Prince or Michael Jack­son; Big­gie or Tupac; New Edi­tion with Bob­bie Brown or with­out.

“Even today in our polit­i­cal land­scape, a line in the sand is drawn forc­ing you to make a deci­sion on where you stand,” he said.

“Where do you stand with rights or same sex couples…where do you stand on gun reform, where do you stand with police body cam­eras? Where do you stand on afford­able health care? Life has a way of mak­ing you make a deci­sion.”

“Where you stand on the res­ur­rec­tion of Jesus Christ: You either believe it or you reject it,” he added.

“Christ is risen from the dead!” he said at one point. “If there’s any­thing that will put an amen in your voice; if there’s any­thing that will put some clap­ping in your hands…it’s that Christ has risen from the dead!”

“When­ev­er I see an emp­ty tomb, I am remind­ed: God. Is. Able. What is he able to do? Fill in the blank! What­ev­er you need him to do!”

The pas­tor also made a ref­er­ence to police shoot­ings: “Even when we’ve lost Trayvon and Michael and Eric and Tamir, we have a God who on the oth­er side work­ing out jus­tice.”

If you are observ­ing the East­er hol­i­day today, please accept best wish­es from all of us at the North­west Pro­gres­sive Insti­tute. May your cel­e­bra­tion of Christ’s Res­ur­rec­tion be peace­ful and mem­o­rable.

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