“Now I’ve heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the Lord
But you don’t really care for music, do you?
It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth
The minor falls, the major lifts
The baffled king composing Hallelujah—Leonard Cohen
We live in an odd Religious time. People are struggling with people of different faiths as much as they are within the world of Christianity. There is a division between denominations, accepting people's choices, their beliefs, and the church they choose or choose not to attend. Everyone is in disagreement about what Jesus would do. In reality, Jesus would go to the mountain and pray, seek guidance from God, and then follow that path to the cross—his ultimate sacrifice.
I've read and studied the bible, and Jesus didn’t preach in churches, synagogues, or temples like we preach in today. In Jesus' time, women weren't even allowed to worship in them with men. Jesus' circle included these women who could not worship and allowed them to work alongside him and minister to the people. The women knew and loved him and stayed by his cross as he died. So it's only fitting that the first person who saw him when he rose on Easter was Mary, a woman.
We grew up with teachings from our religion, depending on where we were born. These teachings are filtered through hashed-out agreements on what was not only truth but divine truth determined to be confirmed by a scholar or teacher having profound insight into faith.
Since Jesus didn't start the church, nor did he write the bible, we must recognize that our beliefs often come from an emotional reaction to what we like or do not like about the pastor, priest, and church elders.
Baptized as an infant and blessed with the gift of Grace. Faith was just part of the fabric of who I became. The community I was brought up in was Finnish Lutheran. I remember the Lutheran Church as very serious, with long boring sermons, fire, and damnation. I remember thinking if I "sinned," I'd go to hell, or it was because I sinned when something wrong happened. Today I know I don't have that much power to affect the things that happen in my life.
For the Christian Church, the Easter Season is a time of reflection, reaffirmation, and recommitment to what we believe as Christians—the word Hallelujah has brought people of all faiths together. Made famous by the Jewish writer Leonard Cohen and sung by artists worldwide, it took him seven years to compose, and then Hallelujah took on a life of its own. It's a word I often use as I walk in the morning at sunrise. I breathe in and out, and the word that comes to me is Hallelujah. Rest in Peace, Leonard Cohen.