Easters come and they go. Some Easters are happy memories in the making; others, not so much. This Easter was one of those memorable ones.
I followed His path through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, celebrating His resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is amazing to me how I can hear the gospel year after year, and each time, learn something new. In the gospel of John, he talks about “the disciple whom Jesus loved...” Wait a minute! He only loved one of them? Which one? Interestingly, I was asked to read scripture at the Maundy Thursday service. I read John 13:21-35. This phrase can be found there and several other places in the Bible too. Well I questioned it, but didn’t want to embarrass myself and ask Pastor. Would you believe that on Good Friday, as Pastor gave his homily, he spoke of this very scripture and explained that “that disciple” is you and me.
And so I continue to grow in my Christian faith. And I leaned heavily on it this year, as for some reason it was harder than last. Sitting in our old pew – yes, you tend to claim one and call it yours forever — but this time, alone. I opened the church bulletin to find my husband’s name in print several times, as his daughters had donated lilies to the church in his memory. I attended an early service so that I could go to brunch later that morning. My stepdaughters would undoubtedly be attending late service — and so, I sat alone, fighting off melancholy. It was not about me, I reminded myself. It was about Jesus, who gave up His life for me. It was about His resurrection and the promise that came with it.
And so I think this is what faith is all about. It is the balancing act between life’s realities and remembering that promise made so long ago and having faith in it. It is getting past the sadness and loneliness and looking for those beautiful signs of new life, and new hope, that come with each Easter season. It is truly remembering that God did not promise us an easy life, but He did promise He would be with us every step of the way. And for me, He has and I am so thankful.
So, it was time for me to find a new way to celebrate an old holiday. Bolstered with provisions of chocolate in our pockets, my daughter and I set sail on two kayaks; watched a beautiful Easter sunset, and freed a Peep!
(No, we didn’t leave him there for a seagull to choke on, but it made for a great laugh, and a wonderful ending to this Easter Sunday!)