I have been thinking about all the Easter services we have attended over the past 40+ years. Twenty-three moves have had us worshiping at churches in Illinois, Utah, New Mexico, Minnesota, Iowa, Montana, and The Philippine Islands. When our children were all home we usually bought new spring outfits for them to wear ~ no Easter bonnets though :) ~ and spent quite a bit of time coloring dozens of hard boiled eggs. An egg hunt would follow our Sunday services and special ham dinner. Some years we hid eggs outside and others when it was too cold…we hid them around the house. Only one year do I recall a strong stench a few weeks later, which eventually led us to a rotten Easter egg! Each of the kids received an Easter basket filled with candy, colored eggs, and the yearly gift of a book. Finding places to hide a basket for 7 children was at times challenging! It was always a very special time for us.
It was not so important where we worshiped ~ whether it was in the heat and humidity of an early morning outdoor service in the Philippines or in a small church with 25 people in northern Montana where winter often lasts into April. What was important was that everyone gathered together to worship the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord!
We have an empty nest now and spend most Easters alone. Life is always changing, but I still am focusing on Holy Week ~ especially Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Not because of the commercial trappings of baskets, candy, or egg hunts ~ but because I need to reflect on what it was like when Christ hung from the cross and Mary found the tomb empty 3 days later. Even though I now need to worship from home, my Easter services are still filled with joy ~the music inspires me, the sermons sustain me, and the words of Jesus strengthen me and give me hope.
In a world where we often question what tomorrow will bring, we can stand firm on the foundation of our Lord. On this day, Easter, as we worship the ressurection of our Lord Jesus Christ, we are reminded of God's love for us, His children. We rejoice!
Christ the Lord is Risen today
Sons of men and angels say
Raise your joy and triumphs high
Sing ye heavens and earth reply
Charles Wesley 1739