April 14, 2001
It's late the night before Easter, and I have a lot of memories running around in my head. Mainly of Easters past. I thought I'd share a few.
Theology aside for a bit, I have always loved Easter more than Christmas, on a purely personal basis. I have an Easter memory of my father. The last Easter he was alive, I remember. I remember being with him that lovely spring day. I don't remember going to church, though I'm pretty sure we did. I am sure that it was Easter, and that it was a beautiful day. My mother was recuperating from surgery, and wasn't along with us. But we were taking a walk around town, me still in church clothes, complete with pretty pocketbook (those have always been part of my life)!
Jumping ahead some years, I remember my Confirmation on Easter Day the year I was thirteen. That was also my First Communion day. I remember being surrounded by people who cared about me, and that it was a good day.
Another church memory I have is from being part of a choir for an Easter Day service. We did our fairly complex music rather well that year, and I guess I was a little tired from working all week and then attending extra rehearsals. At any rate, at the Communion part of the service, I was at the altar rail beside a very good friend (and fellow choir member), who reached over to pat my hand in a gesture of loving friendship and joy of the day.
Next came being given the wine by a layman who was assisting with Communion. This man had cerebral palsy that never seemed to keep him from doing anything, but this was his first time assisting at Communion. The joy he felt at being able to do this was almost palpable, and was indeed a joy to behold. Between being there with my friend and witnessing the assistant's joy, I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. I wound up weeping through the rest of the service. It is a mark of understanding that no one asked me why I wept.
I hope you have lovely Easter memories, too. And that perhaps you'll make some new ones this year, be they church-related or not. You're welcome to share your memories, or join in wishing people a Happy Easter, here.
Oh---for the record: it annoys me when someone criticizes people for going to church on Easter when they might not be there other days. So if you're reading this and trying to decide whether or not to head to church, by all means head out. It does not matter if you don't belong to the congregation. If anyone questions your motives for being there, remind them gently that it's God's house, that you are God's child, and that you are welcome. If you are guilty of making the snarky Easter comments, stop now. Instead, remind yourself that if you make an effort to be nice to the strangers in your midst, they might just feel welcome enough to come back. And if anyone asks why you've changed your attitude, you're more than welcome to tell them that Becky said.