Sunday, March 27, 2005

easter traditions

For the first time in years I’ve bought no chocolate Easter treats. There’s no one here for whom to lay a trail of Cadbury mini-eggs leading to stashes of milk chocolate bunnies, fondant-filled eggs and O-Henry bars. The dyed straw baskets have stayed in their storage box, smished together with the green cello straw and the yellow faux fur chicks.

To be honest, the fun Easter traditions have been slowly dropping away for years now – the dying of hard-boiled eggs in food-coloring and vinegar, the Easter egg hunts. This year I even skipped baking Paska to decorate with icing and colored sprinkles and eat on Easter morning. You need kids around to spark the enthusiasm to do these things. Plus hubby and I just don’t need all that rich food.

But there is one tradition I just won’t let go. For me it is wrapped up in a song we sang most Easter Sundays in church when I was a kid.

The verses are solemn and thoughtful:

*"Low in the gave He lay, Jesus my Savior! Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord
Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior! Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!
Death cannot keep his prey, Jesus my Savior! He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!"

But in the chorus, the music changes – becomes almost a trumpet reveille.

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph oe’r His foes
He arose the Victor from the dark domain
And He lives forever with His saints to rein,
He arose!
He arose!
Hallelujah!
Christ arose!

No matter how the circumstances in my life change to effect the coming and going of secular Easter traditions, I never want to lose that Easter constant. It’s the spark of joy, the stirring of hope, the sunrise, spring-day feeling I get when I reflect on the fact - He is risen. He is risen indeed!


* "Christ Arose" - Text and music by Robert Lowry

***************
...later

On the drive to church this morning my nephew Chris came to mind. He and his family (wife Jane and three kids 6, 3 and 1) were to be at our Good Friday dinner at Mom’s. They didn’t come, though, because Chris was fighting another bout of malaria, and Jane and a couple of the kids had colds. This morning the thought came to me - we should check on them.

We phoned them as soon as we got home from church. Turns out they’re still ill and housebound. But when I asked, would it be okay if we came over, Jane sounded pleased – even happy.

We stopped at Superstore to load up with Easter treats, then at KFC for a bucket and fries and coleslaw.

And so it came about that I did buy Easter treats this year after all – and we got to deliver an Easter lunch to a part of our family who is really missing Jane’s family and all the other warm social interactions of Africa


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