What are your Easter memories from childhood? Did you grow up in a church-going family? Or, like me, did Easter mean candy in a basket? How did your past Easter experiences shape how you celebrate today?
Easter was simple in my childhood. My siblings and I hunted a few eggs in our living room and ate too many malted eggs and chocolate candies. My friends got new frilly dresses with matching hats and they headed off to some mysterious (to me) place on Easter morning. I was always a bit jealous that they had purpose and traditions that I knew nothing about.
When my own children were young, we attended a small, traditional church. The sermons were always quiet and rather solemn and the traditional “Easter Hymns” were sung. There was a lot of standing up and sitting down and recitations that had remained unchanged for hundreds of years. Easter there was serious and yet rather peaceful.
Years later, we went to a larger church. The church put on an amazing reenactment of Christ’s crucifixion on their large stage every year. As lightening flashed and thunder crashed around our ears, Jesus was raised up on his cross in a balcony above the stage. It was impossible to hold back the tears as Jesus’ story was made real for each of us.
One year, we visited a new church in our area. As we sat quietly waiting for the sermon to begin, men marched down the aisle carrying a casket. They set it on the small stage and out popped the Pastor, wired for sound and ready to deliver his sermon. There was a lot of laughter, I remember.
Another church sent us an invitation to attend their Easter service one year. The picture on the front of the card was of an unshaven man in a pink bunny suit smoking a cigarette. The title said, “Easter for the rest of us.”
We took my sister-in-law to church one Easter at a new church we wanted to try. The music was loud, with lots of drums and bass. I loved it. It made me feel the joy of Jesus’ resurrection. My sis-in-law did not like it at all. She missed her small town church and the traditional hymns sung there. That, to her, meant Easter.
So, as you can see, we’re all so very different. But, Jesus came so that ALL might be saved. And, whatever your traditions are, THAT is truly something to celebrate. Happy Easter to you all!