I grew up in a time when Easter and Christmas were celebrated with days off of school, Easter bonnets, pretty new clothes, Easter egg hunts, lots of special food and going to church at 6 in the morning. Some of the highlights of church were entering a sanctuary filled with Easter Lilies, a white drape falling majestically over the cross, special triumphant music and a time for families to gather for breakfast afterwards. There were the cakes made to look like little lambs, hot cross buns, pancakes, hard boiled eggs and lots of other treats.
We always got something new and special to wear. I insisted on something with lots of poofiness, which wasn’t the best look for me since I was already poofy. My sister and I donned new dresses, shoes, purses, gloves and hats. My parents were not by any means wealthy, but they always managed to dress us well for the holidays.
All the things we add to Easter don’t begin to hold a candle to God’s love for us. We can display gorgeous flowers, make splendid dinners, buy new clothes, but none will cover the ugliness that lies within us. We’re all sinners and there’s no way to gloss over that. During those special church holidays, which by the way are the most well attended, we come to God’s house with hope in the promise that God has already washed away our sins.
This year will leave an empty spot in many hearts, because it will be an Easter we’d rather forget. Families won’t gather for special meals and time together. Instead we’ll stay home. Many will have family time with the people they live with, but most of us will be isolated from each other. I’m grateful to have this day to share with my husband – to listen and sing the beautiful songs of praise to our risen savior. We’ll watch church service online. Our churches will remain like the empty tomb which greeted the disciples on that first Easter Sunday.
My heart goes out to those who are alone. This will be especially hard for them. For those with anxiety issues, PTSD, or suffer from depression this will be even more difficult. We are creatures of habit and the idea of spending one of the most joyous of Christian holidays alone is almost impossible to comprehend.
Then my thoughts go back to that empty tomb. Jesus had been placed there after His crucifixion and death on Friday. The quiet Saturday was when He descended into hell and did His victory dance over Satan. On the third day He arose from the grave which held Him. The tomb is empty, because He is risen indeed.
Though this will be an Easter like none other, we will never forget it. Let the true beauty of the work of Jesus live with us today and forever. We know that even though we feel alone, He is with us forever. We will never walk alone. The battle is over. We have been bought and paid for by our precious Savior.
Traditions can help us remember the past. The greatest memory from the history of the world, is that God loves us, so much that He gave His life for us. My we treasure that most glorious gift we’ve been given, unconditionally..
HAPPY RESURRECTION SUNDAY!