Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Reflections on Easter

I was unable to attend Holy Week services and also failed to find any focused substitute activities. I worried Sunday might seem less like Easter without that kind of spiritual preparation. But Easter was rich, glorious and meaningful.

-- I felt the presence of the Risen Christ in worship and in fellowship with my church family. Easter lilies, butterfly decorations and bright banners fit the themes of resurrection and new life. Singing a duet with a friend from the choir, which we just practiced together twice, demonstrated our faith that God would bless our individual preparation and our hearts united to worship and proclaim Him. And I believe God did bless it, taking our humble offering of song -- that grew from a shared sense that the early service needed special music for Easter -- and using it to help convey the message and spirit of the day.

-- Two worship services and fellowship in between, plus eating out with my husband in the evening, were my in-person interactions for the day. But I also felt very much connected to family and other friends through the power of social media. Facebook brought me adorable pictures of great-nieces and great-nephews and their parents and grandparents and great-grandparents and aunts and uncles enjoying egg hunts and other activities in their Easter finery, highlighted with bright colors and precious smiles. Among my favorites were 8-year-old and 4-year-old sisters with their newborn brother amid the lilies at the front of their church, and three sisters, ages 14 to 25, honoring their brother, born 15 years ago but here on Earth only five months. Life and eternal life, gifts of our Lord and Creator.

-- Some of the richness of Easter continued Monday, when God helped me overcome temptations and excuses that would have kept me from being part of the Monday morning prayer group. Afterward, I ended up delivering Easter lilies to a couple of church members who are in nursing homes. I did not think I had time to do any of this, but I just could not say no. As I am sure those who do such acts of kindness more regularly than me can guess, the lift to my spirit was more than I could have imagined.

-- And then there is the weather. Saturday was a vibrant spring day with sunshine and warmth, perfect for running from store to store with the convertible top down while shopping for something new to wear for Easter. The night brought hail that included damage too cars, buildings and trees in some parts of town. But since then, it's just been glorious rain that continues to fall! Usually rain, especially when accompanied by temperatures in the 30s and low 40s, frustrates, stresses and depresses me. But the combination of the timing at Easter and the desperate need for precipitation to relieve the drought-plagued earth makes the rain falling from the heavens bring continued smiles to my face.

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