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Summary: Easter matters because the Christian God has identified with our humanity.

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WHY DOES EASTER MATTER?

EASTER SUNDAY, 2001

Congressman David Obey of Wisconsin tells the story about the late Senator Hubert Humphrey and Federal Judge Miles Lord.

Humphrey and Lord were on a fishing trip in Northern Minnesota. While at a sporting goods store, the Judge noticed a tour bus from California that was broken down outside the store.

Feeling a bit mischievous, he went out and introduced himself as the mayor of the town. He told them he was sorry about their plight; if there was anything that he could for them, just come by his office.

Then he set a trap for Senator Humphrey. He told them that there was an old-timer in town who looked, talked, and acted like Senator Humphrey. The poor fellow even thought that he was Senator Humphrey.

Judge Lord told the people that this man would probably pay them a visit and masquerade as the senator. He asked the tourists to be kind to this confused man and humor him. He warned them not to give him money, but assured him that he was harmless.

Lord then returned to the store and told the Senator that there was a busload of tourists who wanted to meet him. Hubert Humphrey loved people and immediately entered the bus to meet his admirers. Upon his return, Judge Lord asked him how it went. He told the judge that he shook hands with everyone on the bus.

With a puzzled look on his face he told his friend that he just did not understand those California people. Every time he shook one of their hands, that person would turn to the other and they would all giggle.

Appearances can be not only deceiving but also altered, can’t they?

We live in a time with a thing called ‘virtual reality’ which allows us to experience events that we could either not afford or be able to do. For example, last summer I entered a place called NASCAR Experience at a fairly new mall in the Grand Rapids area.

This shop is designed solely to allow an individual to experience the type of action that your favorite NASCAR driver does only more cheaply and more safely.

They are small places with 10 small-scale replicas of NASCAR machines. You pay a reasonable fee, go through an orientation, then pick your machine, climb in, strap in and get ready for a race.

The cars act like the real thing from the rumble of the idling engines to the sudden bump of hitting a wall.

I had a wonderful spot on the starting grid. I got away cleanly (I used the automatic transmission feature) and was in the top 10 for several laps. And then it happened; somebody hit me, and caused me to lose my place.

From that point on I would start gaining on the field only to be hit again and again and out of twenty places finish 18th. But, do you know what? There were only about 10 machines in the store. The remaining 10 drivers were linked via computer simulation.

And only one of us driving in that particular store made the top ten. The rest? They were all the computer simulated "drivers."

Now,it’s fun to do such things and there are a lot of clean and wonderful things to do with modern technology. To the point that reality gets to be, well, rather dull. But there lies the problem.


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