#blogExodus 8: Rise
March 28, 2015
Years ago I attended an Easter morning service at my friend Peter's church in Williamstown. I went with our friend Bernard, visiting from Ghana. (I wrote an essay about it: A field trip into Easter.)
One of the moments which has stayed with me is Reverend Peter asking, at the end of his sermon, "Will you rise?" -- and the pregnant pause during which we all realized that it wasn't "just" a spiritual question but was also a literal one.
"Everything that rises must converge," wrote Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. He believed that all creation was rising toward the Omega Point, the highest possible level of consciousness toward which the universe continues to evolve.
I don't think the rising he's describing happens automatically; I think that there is spiritual work involved. But I like the idea that ultimately there is convergence. That in the end we all come together. As a Jewish Renewal chant has it, echad yachid u'm'uchad -- "one, singular, united" -- or, in singable English, "The One, every single one, each one joined and united in the One." We come from unity and we return to unity.
As Pesach approaches, of course, the kind of rising most of us are thinking about is a literal rising -- the uplift in fermenting bread dough caused by yeast. Some of us cleanse our homes of hametz, leaven; some of us cleanse our hearts of spiritual hametz, the puffery of ego. For a week we will eat only matzah, eschewing foods which are risen. And yet Pesach is a time of great spiritual ascent. Our bread may be flat, but our souls are invited to soar. Time for our spirits to rise.
This post is part of #blogExodus, a daily carnival of posts / tweets / status updates relating to themes of Passover and Exodus, created by ImaBima. Find other posts via the #blogExodus hashtag.