The progressive social justice group Sojourners claims “to seek the truth as informed by our biblical roots.” But clear biblical truth was nowhere to be found in Sojo’s email to subscribers on Easter Sunday. Although the subject line read “Happy Easter from your friends at Sojourners,” the email made no mention of Jesus Christ, the Resurrection, or the Gospel. If fact, other than the subject line, no obvious reference to Easter appeared anywhere within the body of the email.
Instead, the email contained a poem by Pulitzer-prize winning poet Mary Oliver with no additional context or commentary from Sojo. Titled “Why I Wake Early,” the poem describes the life-giving sun as the “best preacher that ever was.” But considering that Oliver is openly lesbian and non-religious, she probably had not explicitly intended to allude to any Easter related themes.
Oliver’s poem undoubtedly expresses innocent feel-good sentiments, and there is nothing obviously objectionable in the poem itself. But what would likely puzzle Christian readers is why Sojo selected this poem as its only message to its email subscribers on Easter, without any additional comments. The poem reads as follows:
Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who made the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety –
best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens
to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of light –
good morning, good morning, good morning.
Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.
Granted, Christian author and blogger Kaitlin Curtice wrote an essay for Sojo on Easter Monday that specifically discussed Jesus and the Resurrection. Not surprisingly, she also used Easter as a springboard to emphasize social justice causes near and dear to Sojo, including “sustainable living” and racial reconciliation. Curtice concluded her essay by describing Easter as an “opportunity to re-create grace and Mystery and sacred love in our own lives.”Google+