Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Finery

"Our Lord has written the promise of the resurrection,
not in books alone,
but in every leaf in spring-time."
Martin Luther

Newly baptized Aidan Christian

I'm not sure which looks more delicious -
Maya Champagne or the bag full of candy.

Whatever your religious beliefs (or if you have none) today is a day for celebrating. New life... New hope...The promise of something better to come.

As a Christian, I don't think I ever wanted to believe in the Resurrection more than I have this year. I can't imagine what it would have been like when my father took his last breath if I didn't know in my soul that he was going to a better place to be (re)joined with his friends, his family and my mom. He seemed afraid and worried there at the end. He asked repeatedly for a priest's assurance of forgiveness and life everlasting. For me there was a perfect peace in his passing from this life to the next. Call it drugs if you want to. I call it love of the Creator who led Dad home.

One of the bloggers I follow, Laura Paine Carr, recently wrote about a day spent with her seven year old granddaughter. I swear I love, love, love the innocence and truth that manifests itself in children. They are so pure (and never more so than all dressed up in their Easter finery). I think even when they make you want to pull your hair out, kids live in the moment and give it their all. Laura and her granddaughter, Annie, were out inspecting the splendor of a Spring day when they came across a no-longer-alive robin. They buried it then Annie took it upon herself to decorate the grave. I'm betting if the ladies at the tomb of Jesus had tried they couldn't have done a better job. I've taken the liberty of sharing it here even though I never got permission from Annie or Laura. I hope it's okay.

I don't know if you can zoom in on the picture above or not, so this is what it says:
We watie in are sorrow for birds to come, to Pray and remeber their beloved Son. And if he rises we shall rejoice for god is with us, and with him there is miracles. Amen.
No deep sermonizing. Just a simple truth as seen through the eyes of a child. At the other end of the spectrum is a writing I discovered this past week from my Grandmother. What do you do with boxes of stuff - photos darkened with age of people you don't know and newspaper clippings from the 1930's - from long ago? Right now I'm still in the read every word and scan every face mode.

I love how the Divine One's timing is spot on. No coincidence that I found this particular piece during this rather hard week. My father's father was a Methodist minister in rural Tennessee. He died from complications of the flu when he was still a young man; my dad was only 10 years old. My Grandmother was a single mom, school teacher and devout Christian in her own right. Because I was not around as she suffered in her last years, I remember her always with a smile, and a bounteous love for redbirds, flowers and children. In an address to the General Meeting of the Newport Methodist church in April, 1974 she said ...

... I have strong beliefs about many things but I find that my firm belief in the one Creator and ruler of our universe is probably the strongest.
On a spring morning when I observe all the beautiful flowers awakening to life after the winter's sleep, and I hear the song of the birds I cannot help but feel that there is a great Supreme power over and above it all.

... The flowers of that first Easter morning have long since faded and gone, but with the coming of every springtime there have been other flowers just as beautiful, just as fragrant to remind us of the love of our Father.

In my church there is a whole week of activities leading up to the glory of Easter morning which will be hailed with much pomp and circumstance. As much as I embrace the majestic climax of the week, I think my favorite part of it all is the recreation of the Last Supper. It is a time to remember the Christ as a man of service to others not the King of Kings.
I give you a new commandment he told his disciples - to love one another as I have loved you.
That is the Easter message I get, year after year, to love one another. From the manger to the cross the story of Jesus is the story of love and miracles. What might this world be like if each of us lived that love commandment and believed in miracles regardless of our sex, color, creed or religion? I wonder why, when the universal language is love, that is so hard to do.
What does Easter mean to you? A story of love and redemption? A time for new dresses, colorful hats, and patent leather shoes? A hunt for a golden egg? A basket full of chocolate bunnies and jelly beans? Baby lambs and chicks and bunnies? Or the promise of Spring as manifested in the beauty and rebirth of Mother Nature?

[The flowers on that cross have a hard time competing
with colorful tops my sister and I are wearing.]

May your baskets overflow with the joy and the beauty of the season,
Merry ME

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