I grew up in the Baptist church as the son and grandson of Baptist ministers.
Of course, Easter was the big day of the Christian church year when we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus. I heard the story so often growing up that unfortunately, I took it for granted.
As a preacher’s kid, I also had a little different perspective.
My Dad was always excited about the meaning of the day and I could see his energy reach a new height. The huge crowds on Easter Sunday were always invigorating and gave him what he needed for the next few months to carry on the hard work of the constant pastoral care needed in a large church.
And the annual conversation at our family lunch on Easter went something like, “If we could only have that kind of crowd every Sunday!” We were big on counting the numbers of people attending as Baptists.
It was also a day where my sister and I got new clothes to wear to church.
I would get a new sport coat, pants, tie, socks, shoes and even new underwear. My mother used to tell me that the purpose of new clothes at Easter was a reminder that we are new persons on this day.
It was an outward sign of an inward reality.
Taking communion in church is like that for me these days. It is an outward sign of something that I am trying to be open to inwardly. This inward desire is an openness to God being present and working in my life somehow. It is a trust that even when I don’t always know what that means, it is happening. Even when I am not aware of it, it is happening.
The concept of new beginnings at Easter is also relevant to our deep longings as adults.
We all need the hope of new beginnings. Whether it is in relationships, or taking care of our physical, emotional, or spiritual lives. We are aware of the need to ask for forgiveness of the things we have done to others, and for the things we have left undone. And to make things right with those whom we love.
Spring and Easter are made for one another. Nature remind us that change is coming. The long winter of life will not be with us forever. New life, new growth, new opportunities are coming.
Why is new life possible? Because those of us in the Christian faith believe that a man named Jesus loved us so much that he died on our behalf, so that we could be forgiven of our sins or failures, and have the opportunity for a new kind of life. I know this sounds foolish and naive to many persons.
But if you have ever been in a place in your life where you lost hope, where everything was dark and there was no light to be found, you understand the need for this possibility of a new life.
May the outward signs of Spring and Easter be an inward reminder that a new day is dawning. Hang in there, your new day is coming soon.
Peace be with you.