Happy Easter / Doug Creamer
For more years than I can count, the tradition in my family has been to gather at my brother’s house for Easter. Everyone would go to their own church for Easter services, some even venturing out for sunrise services. Then we would all make our way to my brother’s house for a great lunch, followed by an Easter egg hunt.
I am really going to miss the gathering this year. Mom always brought the ham. Everybody else brought all the trimmings. My favorite was all the different types of salad that were there to enjoy. Naturally, there would be many different kinds of dessert. One thing that was really popular with the kids (when they were younger) was the Jell-O eggs. I never took one because I thought the kids were supposed to get them, but I will miss seeing them this year.
After the big meal, my brother would look over and nod his head. That meant it was time to go out and hide the Easter eggs. I know we accumulated hundreds of plastic eggs through the years. We would put them out everywhere. As the kids got older, we worked hard to really hide the eggs. I know some of my nieces and nephews were teenagers and still hunting Easter eggs. All the older adults would sit on folding chairs and watch the kids run around collecting eggs.
There would always be some basketball games, my brother and I would shoot a few games of pool, and there was always plenty of catching up. There would be little conversations here and there, and always plenty of laughter. You can’t get my family together without the prankster coming out in all of us. The laughter would slowly fade as each of us would head our separate ways. Stomachs filled, hearts warmed, and still chuckling as we drove home.
Easter will be different for families everywhere. The highways will be less busy. There won’t be as much good food to eat. Easter egg hunts will have to wait, or at least become more creative. The hugging, the family games, but most importantly, the laughter, will all have to wait. It will be alright. I know that in my family we will get together once this stay-at-home order is dropped. The fun and laughter will resume and we will all have stories of what we did during our time of being home.
There is one thing that this coronavirus can’t stop, and that is the real meaning of Easter. It’s hard to believe that there are still people who don’t know what Easter is all about. I assure you that many churches have launched online and live versions of their services. You can attend Easter Sunday service right from the comfort of your home. I have links to a number of churches that are having live services each Sunday at EncouragingU.com.
We know the message of Christmas is that Jesus came to earth born to be our savior. The message of Easter is the fulfillment of his mission. Jesus was born to be the sacrificial lamb that would take away our sins and restore a right relationship with God. God’s law required a blood sacrifice to cleanse us from our sins. Jesus died on the cross to pay the price we could not pay.
His death is not the end of the story. At sunrise on Easter morning, Jesus rose from the dead. No other religious leader did that. He experienced death’s sting but came out the other side a resurrected king. He has all authority and power. He has set us free from sin and death. He has given us forgiveness, joy, and peace.
The coronavirus can’t stop you from experiencing the true meaning or the true gifts of Easter. All you have to do is open your hearts to the living God. He’s done the rest. He paid the price for your redemption. If you accept Jesus as your savior, you can be assured of your place with Him for all eternity. While you are alive here you can experience His love, joy, peace, forgiveness, and His abiding presence. It’s yours for the asking and receiving.
I want to encourage you to invite Jesus into your heart. Easter is symbolic of the life-changing power that is available to you. The same power that raised Jesus from the grave is now available to you. You don’t have to clean yourself up first. He is awesome at taking broken lives and transforming them into something beautiful. I promise He will do it for you.