This is the third post in my Making Space: A Journey with the Spiritual Disciplines series.
My Easter Sunday started early. I woke up at 5:45 a.m., bright-eyed, rested and refreshed.
This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
I sunk into the silence. The sun rose and its light crept in through the windows, along the edges of our bedroom window shades.
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
The rest of my family awakened a couple of hours later. We all gathered in the family room—Tim and I with our steaming cups of coffee and Riley and Brady with their Easter basket loot. The kids enjoyed their annual feast of chocolate and Pez candy while Tim and I watched their rate of sugar consumption with a bit of amazement. Tim read the Resurrection story aloud from chapter 24 of the Gospel of Luke.
Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.
Later that morning we gathered with friends from our church for brunch at a home in our neighborhood like we’ve done every Easter for the past 4 years. This potluck meal is one I look forward to with great anticipation. The food is always delicious and the atmosphere is always joyful. We are a fellowship of people who have known extreme loss, brokenness and sorrow. And we come together to acknowledge and celebrate the hope we have in the gospel. While some of us might be struggling to believe, we still show up to experience a foretaste of the great feast that we all know we will enjoy in eternity.
Alleluia, Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
On Easter evening we worship with our full congregation. We sing hymns of praise, pray together, hear the Word of God and partake of the ultimate Feast—an even truer foretaste of the Great Eternal Feast.
This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me. This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.
I look at the members of my church family sitting around us. I know the beauty and the pain of their stories. And I imagine us in heaven, when all will be made right.
When He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
This year it was natural for me to enter into a celebration of Easter Sunday. Our family has been in a pleasant season for several months. We are all healthy, mostly happy and getting along with each other pretty well. We have known other seasons, so we are doing our best to enjoy and appreciate our current circumstances while we have them. I’m embracing the full Eastertide this year, which is a 50 day celebration of Easter. Who knows what will happen over this span of time? The first ten days have been relatively smooth, but I’m sure I will have days or weeks where I will have to practice celebration as more of a discipline rather than it occurring with ease.
Each morning I’m listening to the morning office of the Liturgy of the Hours so I can remember that this is a season of Alleluias. The Psalms, prayers, responses and Scripture readings point me to the reality of the resurrection as I start each day. I’m keeping fresh flowers on our kitchen table and a few beaded decorative Easter eggs in our family room during this time as visual reminders that this is a time of joy. I’m saying yes more often to requests from Riley and Brady for after-school treats and telling them that we are continuing our Easter celebration with the churros from Cantina Tortilla Grill or a fun snack from the Vineyard Food Market down the street. One day last week while eating one of his treats, Brady exclaimed, “I love Easter!”
As we inhabit this season with more attention and intention, I hope we will be able to see more clearly the beauty and the reality of the gospel truths–that Jesus lived a perfect life, died a horrible death and rose from the dead. He sits at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. One day He will return and gather His own for eternity. In Christ we are free from from the penalty sin, free to love and worship our Triune God, free to love and serve our neighbors and free to celebrate with joy and gratitude.