by Amanda Watson
Little bunnies, cute little yellow duckies, colored eggs, and spring flowers that hang from our doors signal the coming of the Easter season. All this commercialization arrives in conjunction with and/or immediately following Valentine’s Day. Months in advance, the world reminds us that we need to hurry and purchase all the beautiful stuff before someone else gets it. It is the world that has to remind us to get ready for a coming day of celebration. Just as the Apple Watch has an app that rings periodically during the day as a reminder to stop and have a period of calm. Technology to remind a person to stop and rest! For the world, the expectation of celebration is spent in an orgy of spending. In defiance, the snob in me stands aloof, filled with great piety, sneering at the world and announcing, “Preparation for Easter, is not the latest cool thing but 40 days of Lent! God’s app to stop and spend time reconnecting to God."
Ok, I confess. I am an Episcopal snob. New converts are always the most intense. And I am no different (confirmed in 1975-just a babe!). Thankfully, it is the church that reminds us over and over that we live within God’s time, not the world’s time. Following the euphoria of Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, the church calls us to stop and look within ourselves and our relationship with God. We are to spend time looking within ourselves and to live as a child of a God who is love and exudes kindness, generosity, and justice. The church has given us 40 days of Lent to begin to live into the image in which we were created. Deep within our seeking, suddenly almost unexpectedly, yet expected, God sends the light of Christ “to surround us and fill us” (part of the creed that the children say at St. John’s).
With the light of Christ within us, we can truly proclaim, “Christ is risen. Christ is risen, Alleluia, Alleluia." We celebrate that glorious Easter morning when God raises the Son, Jesus Christ, giving new life. Amazingly, at the Great Easter Vigil, the light of Christ sweeps over the church welcoming the happy Easter Morn.
We grow and blossom in God’s good time. So, I have to tell myself, “Get over yourself, Amanda.” If it takes little bunnies and duckies to remind us that God gives us life, or eggs with all the potential of being raised to life, or the blooming of the spring flowers to remind us that through the death of God’s son on a cross, God has given to each of us the way into God’s kingdom, then let us give thanks. If the March winds and the sunshine of spring remind us that God is active in our lives providing for all our needs, then let us say “alleluia.” We can never produce a more beautiful symbol of goodness than a small bud that opens, welcomes the sun, and is there simply for all to enjoy for all to say thank you for this new day. “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:23-24) During the Great Easter Vigil, we sing in the Exultet: “How blessed is this night, when earth and heaven are joined and man is reconciled to God.” So if it takes puppies, duckies, colored (and candy-stuffed) eggs, bright sunshine, and brightly colored blossoms to remind us all that this is the day that God acted, then send in the puppies, duckies, and green grass and spring flowers.
Christ is risen! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!