I Had No Clue How Others Celebrated Easter
“With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 4:33a
This past Sunday, as we paid for a quick supper at the drive-through window, the clerk wished us on our way with these words – “Enjoy your baseball!” Huh? My husband looked at me with a questioning look as in “What did he say?” I nodded and said, “Yes, you heard right. He just wished you a good evening of baseball watching.” As we pulled away with our food in hand we were a bit puzzled. So, I did some digging.
Sure enough! Easter lands around or on the opening day of baseball season each year. This year, opening day was on the Thursday prior, and if you’re a baseball fan this is not news to you. But, I do wonder how many people have a strong association with Easter and baseball? Like Thanksgiving and football? Hmmm.
Later that same evening, I watched a few minutes of TV while waiting for a friend to arrive. Ice Age – The Great Egg-Scapade was on, so I stopped channel surfing and landed there for a few minutes. I enjoyed the original Ice Age, so I thought this might be a fun as well. I was not disappointed as it was cute, and I do love the voice match-ups with the characters. During the few minutes I watched, the focus of the story line was all about Easter eggs – hunting and hatching - which was not surprising. I enjoyed the animal’s antics, but it didn’t take long to think about how some people watching that fun movie only know of the secular Easter celebrations and have no clue that it is celebrated with a whole different meaning for many around the world.
Then there was the religious broadcasting that the TV had been set on when I originally entered the common room. I paid little attention to it at first, but then a prayer began. Many names of Mary, the mother of Jesus, were given followed by the phrase, “Pray for me.” I comprehended many of the titles and descriptors of Mary, but as the prayer continued on I had to scratch my head on one particular request. The phrase was actually, “Ark of the Covenant, pray for me.” At first I didn’t understand that they were actually still referring to Mary, and so I had to google it. Sure enough, there is a whole philosophy of why Mary is referred to as the Ark of the Covenant and why it is included in the “Litany of the Blessed Virgin Mary.” I don’t personally ascribe to the theory – or practice - but it did broaden my view regarding the different ways people celebrate Easter.
Baseball, egg-hunting and recitations of prayers. A very different perspective of Easter came into view for me this year. Easter egg-hunting I knew about and have participated in, but the others I would never have associated with Easter. As the evening passed by, I continued to ponder what I had heard and seen. Then, I received a response to a "Happy Easter" message I had sent earlier in the day to a friend. She said “Happy Resurrection Day!” At first glance, I thought, “Well, that is a fun expression!” But, after a bit of time passed I got it!
Resurrection Day says so much more than Happy Easter in our world today! Easter has so many other connotations – especially as related to the Easter Bunny, springtime and egg hunts. While those things are fun, the message my heart wants to cry out to the next generation, and especially to my grandchildren, is actually HAPPY RESURRECTION DAY! Because of what Jesus did in conquering death and making a way to redeem us from our sins, we too can look forward to our personal Resurrection Day. What a glorious celebration that will be!
So, as we continue on in our Christian witness post-Easter, may we live with the spirit of celebrating the Resurrection Day of Jesus! May we live each day in that joy and give testimony of that hope as we go about our daily lives – asking for the power of the Holy Spirit to assist us in all that we do!
“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13:20-21