We stood at the window and watched on Easter Sunday as great-nieces and nephews, bundled in winter coats on the first day of April, scrambled for hidden eggs. Arms linked through basket handles, they ran or toddled through the mud, leaning into the wind and dodging Grandma’s dog.
Was it so many years ago that the generation before them made the same hunt for the treasured eggs?
I used to mark the passage of time by our sons’ birthdays, by our school calendar and by favorite holidays. In this season of our quiet lives, time glides by and I find myself reaching for tools to wrangle it, to capture any proof that I am here and now. Since the first of the year, I’ve purchased three different pocket calendars and two bullet journals, looking for a comfortable way to record the days. One-quarter of the year has passed, three whole months have evaporated before me, and my logging of days and dates, lists and future plans, is sporadic at best.
What is it in us that calls for marking time? For numbering steps toward the next event, the next season, another birthday?
Easter has passed. Meals have been shared and eggs gathered. We step away from the window of Easter, satisfied that again Christ has fulfilled His promise. The proof is on my calendar.
Christ is risen and all is right in the world.
Until it isn’t. Eternity is a promise while today is a presence. Easter — Resurrection Sunday — resurrects the promise: God sent His only Son to die for our sins, to suffer for us, to earn our ticket to eternity. We can believe it. We can proclaim it with song and with scripture, with feasting and with hunting, with pastel dresses and white lilies.
Yet, tomorrow we suffer. Or maybe the next day. And soon we’ve forgotten. Easter Sunday fades from view, slides off our calendars and we wonder if Christ really hears and knows that today, this day, we need a resurrection. We need others who will look at us and say “I see you. I see your suffering and I’ll walk this path with you.”
God’s promises aren’t boxed in by a date on a pocket calendar. God’s gift of new life doesn’t depend on the new moon or the melting snow. Resurrection happens every hour we take up our own cross and keep on keeping on. It happens each time someone reaches out a hand in love and helps us stand.
Christ was with us before Easter Sunday. He is with us today. Together, we lean into the wind on our muddy search for hidden treasure and we walk into tomorrow, into next week, next month….
BECAUSE CHRIST IS STILL RISEN.
“The great gift of Easter is hope — Christian hope which makes us have that confidence in God, in his ultimate triumph, and in his goodness and love, which nothing can shake.” ~ Basil C. Hume