My husband and I are away at a resort for the long weekend and will not be attending an Easter service this year. There will be no gathering with the family and Easter egg hunts for the children.
I pause and ask myself the question, “What does Easter mean to me?” What does it mean to the people around me?
Easter is a distinctly Christian celebration commemorating the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, the Son of God. It is the pivotal centre of the Christian faith, without which there would be no Christianity as we know it today. There may still be followers of Christ, the teacher or prophet, but not disciples of Christ, the Son of God.
So what difference does all of this make in my life?
I have memories of my Sunday School class joining other children and performing during an Easter Service in church. Neighbours had introduced me to church. Back then my parents didn’t attend church. With my whole heart I sang, “Up from the gravy arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes.” I was caught up in the exultant worship experience and for years was completely unaware of the disconnect of my words.
As an eight year old, something about church attracted me and I would walk several blocks to church with my brother and sister. One particularly lovely Sunday morning, wearing a pretty dress and my new knee socks and shiny patent leather shoes, I tripped on a ridge on the sidewalk and fell and skinned my knee. The sight of the blood overwhelmed me and we had to turn and head back home.
On another Sunday I was very excited because my parents had told me that they were going to church that morning. After Sunday School my brother and sister and I headed for the main sanctuary to find our parents. We walked up and down the middle isle until an usher caught up to us and assisted us in our search. It was all very intimidating, the adults staring at us, the long isle, all those wooden benches, but I was determined to find them. Finally, convinced that they weren’t there, we went home. When we arrived at home I discovered that my parents had gone to a different church. Apparently they had a church of their own.
My memories of walking to church are memories of Springtime–robins hopping on the grass, tulips bursting into bloom, warm sunshine and soft breezes, puddles and earthworms.
Growing up with harsh Manitoba winters, I have a passionate affection for Spring. As a girl I would kick apart the remaining clumps of snow in the front yard, trying to hurry the melting of the snow and the arrival of Spring.
As long as I am breathing, I know I will revel in the invigorating freshness of Spring. Spring revives my heart.
I would like to offer every chid and adult the experience of walking to church as an eight year old in the Spring, and discovering a new dimension, that of God and worship. Easter to me symbolizes new life, new beginnings, new hope. Jesus, the central figure of Easter, said, “I am come that you might have live, and that you might have it more abundantly.” Because of His resurrection I can experience Springtime in my soul.