Happy Easter! He is Risen Just as He Said!
This year, we all did Easter very differently than we ever have before. We gathered separately, in our homes, around computer screens or TVs. My family wore pjs and wandered in and out through the service (we are all having a hard time settling in one spot for long). It feels weird to sing out loud when there aren’t other people around – at least as loudly as we usually would in a more corporate setting. It was just a strange experience.
This Easter got me thinking about my Easters growing up. When I was a child, we lived in San Diego, California and attended a church which held Easter Sunrise Service at a local lake. When one thinks of California, one thinks of warm, sandy beaches. I can assure you, Easter Sunrise Service was not warm and the shores of the lake were not sandy. It was always cold, always rocky and always damp. My mother, in proper Christian lady form, made sure that each year we wore brand new patent leather shoes (which were typically ruined by the end of the service because my sister and I would try to stay warm and awake by chasing the ducks around the lakefront), a new Easter dress (normally sleeveless) and a hat. This tradition may be why I’m always late to get Arden a new dress for Easter – there may be some PTSD associated with these experiences.
Lest you think it was all misery, one of my favorite memories from childhood is the time in every year’s service when our pastor would sing He’s Alive. I can still remember the goosebumps rising on my arms when he would get to the part that went…
“But suddenly the air was filled
With a strange and sweet perfume
Light that came from everywhere
Drove shadows from the room
And Jesus stood before me
With His arms held open wide
And I fell down on my knees
And I just clung to Him and cried”
I could smell the air. I could see the light. I could see Jesus in my mind. Today, I could nearly type all those lyrics from memory even though I haven’t heard that song in decades. I’m not sure that I could bear to hear it today – it might just do me in!
I know there have been many famous artists who have released this song, but none will ever have more impact on my heart and mind as the memory of that song, on that lakeshore, every Easter at sunrise.
We will get back to our “normal” lives at some point – whatever “normal” means in this world after these trying times. But I am reminded, that just as life was never the same after that first Easter; life will not be the same after this one. But one thing, the most important thing, remains. He’s Alive! And because He lives – I can face tomorrow. (another song we sang nearly every Easter!)
Today, when the sun rose and I walked outside with the dog, the first thing on my mind was those Easter mornings so long ago and I hummed the song as we walked…
He’s alive. He’s alive. He’s alive and I’m forgiven – Heaven’s Gates are open wide!
Happy Easter All!
News of the Day:
The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus passed 110,000 on Sunday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Over 1.8 million people have tested positive for the virus.
The U.S. passed more than 21,000 deaths and 530,000 cases, leading the world in both reported numbers.
Pope Francis live-streamed Easter Sunday Mass for Catholics celebrating the holiday under lockdown.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from the hospital where he was treated in intensive care.
Plan for the Day:
Easter lunch, finish watching Ben-Hur, nap.
See you tomorrow!