Today was always going to be a different Easter Sunday and I was wondering just how I was going feel. My husband and I, along with our church Leadership Team, put a great deal of effort and imagination into our Easter weekends . Plans were already in place when we were told that all church services were to be cancelled until further notice. What would this day now look like?
So, this is how my day unfolded.
I decided to get up this morning in time to see the dawn break. When I shared my idea, David (husband) and Joshua (my 12 year old) agreed to come with me. We all got a up at 6am, rugged up nice and warm and headed to the riverfront. The sun was colouring the sky a beautiful range of colours and the river was as still as glass. There were the occasional splashes as fish broke the surface to fly momentarily before they re-entered the water and caused circular ripples heading to the banks.
The air was still and quiet, until the birdsong began, the favourite of the chorus being the classic call of the kookaburras. I sat on the pier and soaked up the atmosphere. I couldn’t help but imagine what that first Easter morning would have been like and took some time to contemplate how similar and different it was to what I was experiencing this morning. I felt strongly connected to God in this activity and it was a great start to this day.
We returned home for the traditional egg hunt before engaging in some of the online church services on offer, including our own version. Then Joshua and I watched a VeggieTales DVD about Easter and were reminded about the importance of Hope.
After a lunch break we decided to give Joshua a chance to ride his bike at a local park for 30 minutes as he explored the interconnecting paths. To be able to observe his sense of freedom from this simple joy was heartening. It also connected me to the sense of release we have as a follower of Jesus.
Then I had the opportunity to introduce Joshua to another of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s musicals – Jesus Christ Superstar. This particular rendition was the Arena performance from 2012. While I am fully aware that the musical wasn’t written from a Christian perspective, I was so moved by the performances and depiction of the last week of Jesus’ life. Despite the story concluding with Jesus’ death so it feels incomplete to me, I was able to contemplate the impact His time on earth has had on the world.
We finished our day with a roast lamb dinner, which reminds us all of the lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world (John 1:29). It is no coincidence that Jesus’ death occurred at Passover where the roasting of a lamb plays a significant part, so it is tradition for us to share in lamb on Easter Sunday.
So despite my usual markers that indicate it is Easter Sunday being missing this year, I was delighted to have been able to find reminders all throughout the day. The difference? I was looking for them. I was desperate for connection to my spiritual heartbeat that Easter brings me without fail, and with that desperation it was easy to find.
Moving forward I would like this mindset to be an everyday experience rather than just an annual event. I pray that it will be so.