Saturday, March 30, 2013


 It isn't an accident Easter is in the spring.  Spring is the time of new life on trees and foliage.  It is lambing season and the time of new birth in the animal world.  It is the reason bunnies and eggs are associated with Easter.  (Cadbury combines them both)  Just as Christmas takes advantage of the pagan festival of the winter solstice, so too Easter (the name comes from the goddess Eastare) is placed in the center of spring fertility rites and nature's cycle of rebirth...for Easter is a celebration of life and love and a new relationship between God and us.

     Christians are Easter people.  You cannot be a Christian if you don't believe in resurrection.  (while no one has to be a Christian, if you call yourself one, then Easter is at the center of your theology)  I have written and talked before how the message of Easter is that Jesus opened a relationship with God, the depth of which had never existed before.  This relationship is endless and thus death is no longer something to be feared.

     The Good News (gospel) is we go...On.  Why is that so hard to believe?  Before any of us were born, we didn't exist.  Our birth is the creation of something unique which will never be duplicated again.  Yet, we view this coming into existence from nothing as an everyday occurrence worthy of little thought or examination.  At the same time, the idea our essence, (soul?) continues to exist after our body ceases to function is somehow spooky, otherworldly, incomprehensible and we harbor grave doubts about its reality.  Birth is nothing to get religious about, but continuing on is the stuff of faith.  (Einstein says you can't destroy energy...only change it.  The essence of who we are is the energy which enervates us.  Why is it so difficult believing that energy is immortal?)

      Much of the emphasis on resurrection at Easter, masks even better news.  Jesus spent his public life teaching people how to live, be at peace, not be afraid and have a full life.  He taught by example and promised if you lived like he did...forgive an infinite number of times...turn the other your enemy...clothe the naked...feed the hungry...heal the for the least of your brothers and would be happy and fulfilled and be so close to God it would be as if you were Mother and child.

     The Good News is you can have this amazing life.  How many of us live in fear on a daily basis?  How many of us go to bed worried and troubled?  How many of us search for and seek out some way to improve our lives and how much money is spent trying to buy, manufacture, lease or in some way obtain happiness?  Our entire capitalist economy is based on consumption and consuming.  We are promised happiness is contained in a sleep number bed, light beer, Carnival cruise, man-cave (with its 80 inch flat screen TV, surround sound, streaming video and bar).  We are bombarded with the message we can buy the peace and happiness we desire.  Easter is the antithesis of this quintessential American message.  (and perhaps why so many Americans have trouble adopting the way of life it points to)

     Jesus spends his public life trying to convince others of what He knows.  God loves us...wants to be loved in return...wants to communicate with us...wants us to have a full life in which to draw nearer and closer to Her.  His is the most radical philosophy of living ever proposed.  It threatened the power structure then, just as it would now if it ever truly catches on.  In the end, Jesus dies because of how much He loves us and his absolute conviction death doesn't end his relationship with God.  Easter is the fulfillment of that belief.

     On this Easter Sunday, if I were still hosting God talk, we would have started with Sandi Patti singing, "Was It A Morning Like This?"  I would greet you with," Alleluia, Alleluia, He is risen."  We would spend three hours celebrating this central event of the Christian story.  However, since my sins destroyed all of that and hurt so many, I write to you and hope you can breathe in this life-altering message.

     If you are worried, scared, lonely or despair about life...STOP.  If you go to sleep hoping tomorrow will somehow be better than today...STOP.  If you are sad and searching for happiness or don't feel life is what it should be for you...STOP.  If peace is something you look for "out there" and think it is something external to yourself...STOP.  On this Easter Sunday, we celebrate life and the Good News that a full life is yours if you want it.  We give thanks for all we have been given and look to share with others.  We gather with family and friends to share a meal and enjoy the Spirit among us.  I am separated from those I love the most, yet my sadness is tempered because I have been given so much and know they love me as I love them.  I'm forgiven by God and them, and the distance which separates us is not insurmountable.  I have all of you and you are always in my thoughts and prayers.  In the upper room, Jesus greets his friends with, "...peace, do not be afraid."  On this Easter Sunday that wish is offered to all of us.
                                                                   HAPPY EASTER ! !


  1. Have a peaceful and happy Easter, Bernie.

  2. Bernie, I thought of you this morning, as I do on many Sunday mornings, and I recalled how you always began Easter Sunday, with "Alleluia, Alleluia, He is risen!" It makes me happy (and a bit sad) to read it here. I am gladdened to hear your good spirits and faith that all will be well (or at least as it should be). God be with you.

  3. Good to hear from you today, especially, Bernie...this brought tears to my eyes. Hope your day has been peaceful and blessed. Take care!

  4. What a wonderful homily. Thank you. May God bless.

  5. Bernie, you are missed. At times I don't understand your sin/s, in any way shape or form. And I hope you are truly reformed.

    I still admire your brilliance in communication, and even if it isn't really my place to forgive you, I forgive you.

    It seems like it all went bad so fast, your fate, the sale of KGO, the inevitable scuttling of that crew, staff and community.

    But at least still we have you here to check in with.

    When I read your words I can hear your voice.

    What you wrote for Easter, feels like it was written just for me.

    So, thanks. Please be truly reformed, and I hope you are reunited with your family and friends as soon as soon can be.

  6. wish you were back on air too, but for you and your family, hope you are home soon! Happy Easter!

  7. A fine homily Bernie. Sounds like your faith and family remain an important part of your life. Hazah! !

    Add to that so many of your former listeners that remember.

  8. That was amazing Bernie. I like so many others miss your voice. Start a podcast one of these days like the rest of them that KGO got rid of.

    Peace and love to you.

  9. Hello, Bernie!

    I used to listen to your "God Talk" show on Sunday mornings. I was a frequent caller to your night time show (I forget the days) and also your show with Lee Rogers. You and I had some heated debates, Bernie. Back then, I thought you to be arrogant and underhanded. On one particular call-in, I mentioned that I am/was a Correctional Officer and you tore into me with a rage that, at the time, I could not understand. You had already ended my call, but you continued to speak as though I was still on the line. You asked me several questions and when I couldn't answer (I had been hung up on), you referred to me as a coward for not responding. From that day on, I carried a grudge against you. I never called your program/s again. When the news broke that you had been arrested, I was elated.
    Well, Bernie, that was the old me. The new me has found compassion for you. The new me has come to believe that you were not entirely treated fairly by the prosecution. When Lee Rogers passed away last year, I thought about you. Lee was with the Lord and Bernie was sitting in prison, paying his debt to society and, hopefully, fully repentant for what you had done to your family, yourself and the children who were so horribly exploited and hurt by the disgusting abuse they suffered at the hands of perverted and ill men. I do believe that you are repentant and that you've bent your knee and lowered your head in prayer and supplication to the Lord.
    The long and the short of it, Bernie, is this; Although you and I come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, we are brothers in Christ. Only you and God know if you are truly saved and I would never venture to make a judgment call on that one. You seem to be a changed man.
    That said, I hope to hear you again on the radio and I would like to become, again, one of your most frequent callers.
    We are all in need of God's love and forgiveness, as we are all far short of perfection and all in need of our savior, Jesus Christ.
    Please, Bernie, many are looking to you to see that you are truly repentant, please don't let them down again. Be an inspiration and an example of God's incredible love and forgiveness. God bless you, Bernie. Stay strong and I look forward to hearing you once again and soon. i pray that your family is happy and healthy and eagerly awaiting your return. There is a yellow ribbon encircling San Francisco, Bernie, be worthy of every inch of it.

    Your Brother in Christ Jesus.

    John S.