Happy Holy Week! Whether you're celebrating Easter or Passover (or neither), chances are good you're doing so in a new or "nontraditional" way.
At least that's the conclusion of new research. Fewer people are attending religious services overall, even on these high holy days meant for hats and prayers, tradition and hymns.
In their stead are relationships and community. While I don't think this can all be pegged on the younger generations, I do believe we're seeing a shift in religious expression. But, I think it's actually a shift back to religion's earliest roots, and not a turn away from what is sacred at all.
Community, family, belonging, friendship, relationship - this is the context in which love, God, gods, and hope was birthed. Religion or faith did not come about because pipe organs, deacons, or offering envelopes needed somewhere to belong. Faith and hope originated in the context of people being people in the presence of one another.
God is realized more today in the context of community than the context of church, in the confines of family rather than the confines of a pulpit.
So if you want to celebrate Easter with friends while at a restaurant laden with limitless mimosas, may you find God there as equally as you may find God in a church or chapel, a mountain or a monument.
What many are finding is that not only is Jesus not in the tomb, he may also not be at that church. He may be right at home, well, in your home.