Yesterday was Easter.
Easter is my favorite holiday. With each year that passes, I am more in awe and more humbled by the events of Jesus' death and resurrection.
This year I almost missed it. Not in the sense that I didn't participate, but rather that I almost didn't experience it. The week was crazy-busy, with birthday parties and meetings and memorial services, leaving no time for quiet reflection. At least, I didn't make the time.
Good Friday found me scrambling to get to Champaign and back in between a memorial service and church that night. Long story short, we borrowed a keyboard from our church to use for the memorial service, and the power cord was bad. Since the keyboard would be needed for the Good Friday service that night at our church, we had to make a trip to Champaign to get a new one. I barely got home in time to rush the kids into their dress clothes and make it to the church service. I know Kenney preached a great sermon, but honestly, I was too tired and frazzled by the events of the day to really appreciate it.
Saturday was filled with not one, but two family gatherings complete with plastic eggs and chocolate candy. I felt like I had a million things to do: fix food to take to Krabels, fix food to take to Aunt Connie's, get kids through the shower, get clothes laid out for the morning, get the kids to bed early, get the Easter baskets out and filled...
...except that as I was getting out the bags of Easter basket goodies that I had stashed in the bottom of my closet, I discovered that someone (or more likely "nobody", because that's who makes most of the messes in our house) had stepped on one of the bags and smashed two of the four chocolate bunnies to smithereens. So despite all that I had to get done, despite how early I had to get up the next morning, off to Walmart I went.
The entire time, I kept thinking to myself how incredibly ridiculous I was being. Really, what do chocolate bunnies have to do with the Resurrection? Even now, I am disgusted with how caught up in the irrelevant trappings of the holiday I was. I don't know what came over me, but by the time I got home, I was so grieved to the point of tears at how I had allowed the real reason for Easter slip past me.
Easter morning came at the not-bright-and-very-early hour of 4:00 am when my alarm rang and again came the mad rush of getting seven people dressed while they are half-awake and out the door in time for Sunrise Service. We herded our sleepy brood into a pew as the service began.
It hit me as we sang the second verse of my favorite Easter hymn:
Lives again our glorious King,
Where, O death, is now thy sting?
Dying once He all doth save,
Where thy victory, O grave?
My eyes filled with tears as I sang those words. Here is the meaning of Easter. Because Jesus lives, we have the promise of eternal life. Because Jesus overcame the grave, we need not fear death. Easter is a victory celebration!
The rest of the day was lovely. Food, family, friends, and yes, chocolate bunnies. I have nothing against chocolate bunnies, or plastic eggs, or Easter baskets. Those traditions are fun, and I love chocolate and I love gift-giving. They have their place, but not first place. First place belongs to the Savior.