Sunday, April 16, 2006

He is Balanced! The Lord is Balanced indeed!

The Easter phrase "He is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed!" got a new twist this past Friday at work.

Normally, we are given the opportunity (permission) to leave the building at 2ish on the Friday before holiday weekends. We have all been trained to expect it and whenever the intercom comes on around 10ish on those days, everyone stops talking and trains an expectant ear towards the ceiling.

For Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, the stated reason is always relating to the holiday itself. But what to do with Easter--a religious holiday that doesn't have the cultural dominance of Christmas to make it acceptable to everyone? How do you let people go home early without offense? (And it is so easy to offend these days.)

It is Easter's very essential Christian nature that makes it a difficult holiday to recognize in a secular situation.

Well, I couldn't remember being given early release for previous Easter weekends, so I didn't think much of it. I wondered if we would get out early, wondered what the justification might be, but didn't expect to be given the opportunity.

But then, the intercom "cleared it's throat." It was approximately 10ish. All of those around me cocked an ear, raised an eyebrow, got a wondering expression on their faces.

The announcement was given! We could go home at 2! But would their be riots? Would our Jewish coworkers, our agnostic colleagues, the numerous Hindi employees hired in the last year be offended?


"Because of the hard-working departmental efforts to balance the current corporate budget, employees will be allowed to leave the building at 2 pm today. All packages and outgoing mail must be down in the mailroom by 1:30."

Hurray! (While laughing out loud . . ) Balanced budgets! (Shaking head in disbelief . . .) What will they think of next year?

Hmm . . .

"Due to the division's ability to generate projected revenue while operating at last year's toner budget allowance, employees are allowed to leave at 2 pm."

"Thanks to employees commitment to climb the stairs rather than expend electricity on unnecessary elevator usage, the building will be closed at 2 pm."

"In recognition of the past year's exceptional effort to recycle, employees with hybrid cars may leave at noon. All employees utilizing internal combustion engines are allowed to leave at 2pm."

Keep those corporate miracles coming everybody. Your weekend salvation depends upon it.


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

David: I thought you might find the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Easter sermon interesting. He talks about the Da Vinci code and recent Gnostic gospels that have been found...

Here are the best quotes from the sermon:

"We have become so suspicious of the power of words and the way that power is exercised to defend those who fear to be criticised. The first assumption we make is that we’re faced with spin of some kind, with an agenda being forced on us – like a magician forcing a card on the audience. So that the modern response to the proclamation, ‘Christ is risen!’ is likely to be, ‘Ah, but you would say that, wouldn’t you? Now, what’s the real agenda?’"

Then, this conclusion...

"Beyond all the history of confusion and betrayal that surrounds a lot of the Church’s history, this one rocklike conviction remains, the conviction that drove the writing of every word of the New Testament. Nothing to do with conspiracies, with the agenda of the powerful; everything to do with how the powerless, praying, risking their lives for the sake of Christ and his peace, are the ones who understand the Word of God. And to accept that is not to sign up to the agenda of a troubled, fussy human society of worried prelates and squabbling factions. It is to choose life, to choose to belong to the life-giver."

Here’s the full sermon: