Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter for Real

I was pulling into my driveway, just returning from a last minute shopping trip. I still didn’t have all the ingredients I needed to make a broccoli salad for Easter dinner and I had picked up some Puffs, decongestant and Vitamin Water to treat my nasty cold. It occurred to me, in bailing on most of my plans to go into a Benadryl-induced coma, I wasn’t going to have time to buy an Easter outfit or got a haircut before Sunday morning.

I felt like such a loser. What kind of Easter was this going to be, anyway? I hadn’t made time to color eggs or buy Easter outfits for my kids prior to our Spring break trip. I hadn’t participated with Lent, Maundy Thursday, or Good Friday services. Our choir cantata was taking place the next weekend, since part of the choir was gone on vacations as well. The color of my nose would suggest celebrating another holiday as a certain reindeer. My kids weren’t even going to be home until the wee hours of the morning. Just another Sunday, I guess.

As I began to prepare for the high school class Sunday school lesson, I began to realize how silly I was being. Easter is not about the outfits, or the eggs, or special services. Easter is a celebration of the single greatest event in Christian history. Easter is about new life, hope, and the triumph of light over darkness.

Jesus’ work on the cross paid the debt for our sins. His resurrection proved that He had dominion over death, that His sacrifice was voluntary. Life triumphed that day, when the stone rolled away, opening what man had tried to seal up and forget.

The story of Easter is forever about hope. Seeing Jesus die on the cross, His disciples felt crushed and abandoned. They didn’t know that for Jesus, death is only temporary. They didn’t know He was merely taking care of some spiritual business. In the same way, no matter how dark our circumstances, even when there’s no light in sight, God has the power to redeem, to provide comfort and bring light into our souls. He is the God who sees, and the God who provides.

This Easter, I’m going to dress my best in an old dress. I’m going to take my medication and drink lots of liquids. I’m going to sing about Christ being risen. I’m going to teach about the significance of the resurrection. I’m going to eat ham, sweet potatoes, and broccoli salad. I’m going to celebrate life with my friends and family, including seven nieces and nephews. I’m going to remember the hope embodied in a Person who overcame the grave.

Happy Easter!

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