With Easter so near we can almost taste the chocolate, many of us have gone from weeks of reflection on our relationship with God through Christ to lists of to-dos for special family meals, and to-buys for Easter baskets for our kids. Those with little girls may be out buying that perfect Easter dress and with little boys maybe getting little dress shirts and ties. As with other special days of celebration we like to make a fuss.
With our kids a little older now, we don’t really do much with baskets or egg hunts any more. We aren’t hosting a family event, so the panic clean-up is not under way. The biggest sign that we are only 3 days away from Easter morning was last night when my husband arrived home with a huge box of bacon. For years he has helped to organize the sunrise breakfast at our church and, for many of us, bacon plays a central role in the event. At this point, the decisions about worship have all been made, the anthems planned and as practised as they are going to get.
It is time to let go and let ourselves be swept away in the story and the emotional roller-coaster of this four-day period. We will rise from the Passover meal with Christ on Thursday night feeling at the same time so close to him and confused by what he has said will happen. Afraid that he will be leaving us, worried that we might deny him. We will be horrified by the treatment he takes and the cries for his crucifixion, we will feel immense guilt as we see him hanging there on the cross, an innocent man. Our sense of loss and grief will overtake us as we hear the words, “It is finished.” This will be followed by a lost day in which regular life continues but feels like it shouldn’t. And then there will be Sunday.
On Sunday morning we will rise to go back into our churches which were last seen in a moment of deep grief and pain, and be lifted up on the amazing wave of the news, “He lives!” Let yourself feel it all this Easter weekend, and remember it throughout the rest of the year, for this is why we are Christians!