Years ago, I framed this beautiful message. I walk by it daily but haven’t noticed the joy it brings for quite a while. Easter is the time to be reminded. And this is the season, Imbolc, that God reminds us as well. On our weekly visits to University Hospital in Aurora I detour through the gardens to see what is bursting forth again. It makes my heart rejoice.
I had a difficult time again this Easter with the usual message that Christ died for my sins. First, I don’t believe that theology. It doesn’t make sense to my logical mind. Second, tied to it, is another common theological theme with which I disagree: that we must die as the grain of wheat dies when it is planted. I understand the idea is to die as Jesus died to be resurrected with Him. That Christs death brings forth new life. But that is not the concept I hear from many Christians. I hear that we are sinful. I hear that somehow, we must “die to self’. I just don’t like the word “die”. It is too final and unproductive.
As a botanist and a gardener, I know that a grain of wheat contains within itself the potential to become a new plant. It contains an embryonic root and leaf and enough food to sustain it until the new plant is established and capable of producing more seed. But it does not die when it is placed in the earth. Darkness and moisture become its womb as it slowly transforms. It certainly does not die! It transforms! Why don’t we use that word? Celtic Spirituality frees me to reject negative western thought. It allows me to see that I have potential. To believe there is potential for goodness in me and others. When that seed bursts forth and is seen “Love is come again like wheat that springeth green”.
I believe in a God of Love. God who birthed creation and declared it not just good but very good. As John Philip Newell, in his book Christ of the Celts says: “Creation is viewed not simply as something that occurred at one point in the past. Creation is forever being born. It is forever coming out of the Womb of the Eternal, and God forever sees what is being born as sacred.” Christ comes to reconnect us to God who created us in Love. That is the meaning of Easter for me.
Ann Dolbier is a friend and supporter of Celtic Way