April, 2018 – A Different Easter

April, 2018 – A Different Easter

Several years ago as I was entering church one Sunday morning, one of our young fellows who has a developmental disorder, looked at me and said quietly, “My favorite day of the week is Sunday.”  I smiled at him and said, “Mine, too”.  And beyond that, I have to say that my favorite Sunday of the whole year is Easter – Resurrection Day!  With no exaggeration, every time when I wake up on Easter morning, my mind is flooded with ‘He is risen!  He is risen!’ – over and over and over!  My heart just dances and sings.  It could be raining out – (maybe even snowing in New England), but I hear the birds singing (His praises, of course), and whether they’re there or not yet, I see little flowers adorned in their brightest and most colorful splendor with little faces looking straight up to the One Who created them.  It truly is the most joyfully celebrated ‘holiday’ for me.  What a Holy Day!  Most of us have heard all our lives that when Jesus died on the cross, He conquered sin.  When He rose again from the dead, He defeated death.  He defied death once and for all!

Resurrection Day for those who are followers of Christ is the most important ‘holiday’ of the year.  For it was then that ‘Christ Jesus rose again and is now seated at the right hand of God . . .’    – (from Romans 8.34)  By God’s giving His Son, Jesus, in payment for our sins, the world was forever changed!  Not just historically, but supernaturally!  His resurrection was not only Jesus’ victory over death – it became our victory, too.

From the time I was a child, I have celebrated Easter.  And even though I knew that the ‘holiday’ was about Jesus’ rising from the dead, I have to say that for me it was as much about the Easter basket, my fancy Spring dress, new patent-leather shoes and my new little white socks rolled down showing the lace along the edge.  Then there were the lilies, lilies, lilies at church (that I seemed to be allergic to and always ended up with a headache), an extra special ‘Special’ by the choir, and everyone dressed prettier than on any other Sunday.  Not so sure that it was always to honor Jesus, but maybe more of being caught up in part of the secular celebration of Easter.   Anyway, for sure it was about Mama’s ever so special Easter dinner, too.  Such fond memories!  Nothing much changed with celebrating the day – except that the older I got, and the more in love with the Savior I became, it really was (and is) about the elation of what happened at Calvary and in the tomb on Resurrection Sunday morning.

However, this year is going to be different for me.  Really odd!  Western churches which follow the Gregorian calendar will celebrate Easter on April 1, and Eastern Orthodox churches which follow the Julian calendar will celebrate on April 8.  That means that since I travel from my stay in Eastern Europe to America on April 6 that – I will have no Easter this year!  I will have no opportunity to worship collectively with other Christians the most important day of the year to me.  I’m in a bit of a quandary.  I’m not sure what I’m going to do.  Perhaps just celebrate by myself here in Romania on April 1 – or, by myself on April 8 when I return to the States.  Odd!  Back to the young fellow at my church years ago who declared that Sunday was his favorite day of the week, I am reminded that that is why we meet on Sunday – it’s why we gather together to worship the Savior – the Risen Savior on ‘Sunday’.  It’s the day He rose from the dead. (Mark 16.9)  So I’m thinking that I could celebrate with heart singing and dancing, hearing the birds chirping and singing, and seeing the flowers ‘worshiping’ on either April 1 or April 6.  Or, any Sunday!

“In Whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”   – Ephesians 1.7