Easter this way comes
When it is Easter, and renewal is on the mind, what does it look like to you? In times of my youth Easter would be the new dresses my sisters would get that my mom had made by hand. Different in sizes, same in color and style. But new! When later I was to get my own new suit for Easter, it was then time to be proud of my new clothes, and the mom that had made them. I was of course oblivious to the hours of toil, the forethought of timing to get the group’s clothes done before the big day. To walk into our small country church as a group and sit in our familiar pew. Something new, something old, and all of us together. Later my brother would get some new duds, and as things go, the sisters would want clothes that were purchased... of course ignoring the fact that someone’s mother was making them as well. The sunrise sermon on the Easter story, the brunch, the visiting and then home for the family gathering. Ham and green-bean casserole with fried onions... some memories come with a smell and a taste. The look around the table was to remind us of the blending of the two families that had become one. The grandparents that came and the ones that stayed away. The Easter thing was something we lived. Something that was daily a reminder of the chance to start anew. Not always fun, and not always well done, but that was home.
Years of Easters have shown them to have been powerful reminders of grace, or casual expressions of a cavalier time, then again to come as a reminder of the need that was filled by one that toiled more than I knew. So I looked around the church this morning and saw the group that is now my church family. Many are familiar, some come in for just this weekend. Some will stay and some will come only next time for a few days. There were some that were part of a different family this time, different than the last time, and some that have no family at all. Separations and deaths. Broken marriages, lives messed up, and pain. I wonder if this too is simply a reflection of what Easter is really about... A time of renewal and regeneration. To have sitting at our table, those that want to start anew, again. To hope, even for a little while, that renewal may be meant for them. That it will not slip from their grasp.
How is it that we see what we want. The harlot and the hound that chases or the mom trying to do better this time and the guy that is hurting and looking for a safe place to land. The clucking mother hen, busy about her offended dignity or the grandmotherly lady that warmly embraces. Will you see the woundedness of the one on the cross, or the bunny and the eggs. What is it that you are capable of seeing when you look around your table, and hope that renewal came to your door. Is it Easter there as well? Will you live Easter as a lifestyle choice? When you come to my door and smell the ham, will you be embraced in the aroma of love? I hope so. Let me get another chair.