Monday, 6 April 2015

Liturgy of Egg-Throwing

Some of you may be wondering, in the midst of a whole series of posts about general stuff, politics and science, what's happened to the Beaker Folk? Where are their normal jolly japes and frivolity, ludicrous liturgy and post-rational philosophy?

And the answer is, simply, hiding.

They really can't manage Holy Week. The hard decisions, rejection, pain, blood, death and so on. It's not a part of the Beaker self-image. Beaker Folk stand for joy, delight, low-grade liturgical dancing, hippy music and meaningless ceremony.

And the bit they can't cope with most of all is Easter Day. They like to inhabit the land of myth, and the demands of Easter Day to be treated as a historical fact mess with their heads. I try to put it like this to soften the blow. Easter is a myth, but one that is written in historical form. The resurrection of Jesus is written across the new leaves on the trees, the sprouts of bluebells, the rising sun, Isis and Osiris, Woden hanging on a tree to gain wisdom - a thousand fragments of a myth of beauty and wisdom gained through death and resurrection, all gathered up into one myth that happens to have been written, once, in a historical context.

And they look at me and shudder. They like me dragging in the Egyptian stuff and astronomy and Woden and all that - but they really don't trust the historical bit. If one man can be resurrected, they say, that means everybody can. And if that's a real thing in history, then what we do matters. And that's not a good message for a post-critical religion.

And I give up, and let them go home until Easter Monday. They like this afternoon's Liturgy of Egg throwing. As the eggs sail over the Moot House or, for beginners, the Great Trilithon, they represent the sun rising in strength. As they fall gently, they represent the sun returning to rest. And as they smash onto the would-be catchers' faces, they represent the myth of the politician who has a row with a brewery and thereby increases its sales.

They can grasp this. It's mythic, it's natural, and it has no effect on their daily lives. It's just the sort of religion they like.


  1. They are a soppy lot, these half-hearted pantheists. Whinging about fire-extinguishers at Lughnasa, Arguing that bog bodies went out with Vatican 2, and phoning the RSPCA if you even look funny at the sacrificial goat.

  2. I've been uncomfortable with Easter myself. But not in the way that the Beakerfolk describe it. Mythical isn't the key word, Redemption is.

    Because when I was an unredeemed agnostic and potential atheist I held a grudging respect for those people who had the courage and faith to actually believe the resurrection story, while resting my head on the pillow of doubt - which was quite a hard pillow, full of stones and probably throwing eggs for all that I knew at the time.

    But one day, revelation came near, and the Kingdom of God, which happened to be passing by, whispered into my ear - I'm here, I'm real, let me in and find out for yourself.

    Now, hearing voices whispering in your ear, might be the stuff of men in white coats coming to fetch you - but in the reality that I was in, it was a real experience of God taking time off from ruling the world and speaking to those who believe and celebrating with them, to look around for a waif and stray, who was vulnerable and under severe strain, and was probably receptive to help, wherever it came from.

    His timing was good and I received. That reception has led me down some strange pathways and has given to many opportunities which include Easter Egg hunts around a wet church yard on occasion.

    And I been convicted!! Convicted in the sense of being convinced that God is real, that Jesus is real and was real, died, rose again, ascended and will come again. He along with his dad and their spirit have worked their Holy Magic in my life and I have nothing but thanks and praise for them.

    So, you cynical beakerfolk's - put that in your flower power pipe and smoke it.


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