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Anzac, memories, and Easter

Last Saturday, I led a seminar on Anzac and Anzac mythology at the Grail community, North Sydney. It was a rich experience. We watched the closing scenes of the movie Gallipoli, encountered some historical documents and shared views about what constitutes the essence of Anzac and what relevance, if any, this has for today.

I usually come away from such gatherings with head buzzing and a couple of nagging questions that mock simple answers. Last Saturday was no exception.

Easter, a rubbish dump, and some women disciples

Easter is just around the corner and marking this dark mystery beckons us again.

Each Easter time, I find that the passion narratives draw me in. I pause, I wonder, and I imagine the story unfolding in Jerusalem.

Reading helps me to understand more of this experience.

This year, it is women and their customary role of attending to the dead that has caught my attention.

A proper burial was of utmost importance then. To quote Kathleen Corley, a scholar whose work I am delving into, ‘Going without a proper burial was horrifying in antiquity.’

Donald Trump, Easter, and violence

Recently, Donald Trump announced plans to slash $54 billion dollars from the US overseas aid budget. The money saved will be redirected to the military to ‘make America great again.’ If passed by Congress, there will be even more funding for weapons, training soldiers and the deployment of violence.

How readily we accept preparation for war. How easily violence is encoded into religious stories about life and nation.

Wholehearted

I have been thinking about the quote that I shared in a blog recently from Theodore Roosevelt: entering the arena… daring greatly. (The full quote is available at http://www.theodore-roosevelt.com/trsorbonnespeech.html )

The quote has caused me to reflect on some memories, and it has become clearer that when I have entered the arena, it has been a transforming experience, a spiritual experience.

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