Friday, April 22, 2011
I'm One of His Peeps
I was out the door this morning by 8:30 (a rarity for this non-working woman) and headed to 3 stores before the impending storms dumped copious amounts of rain. I wanted to scoop up all the needed supplies for dinner. Today is my turn to pamper a friend who just had a knee replaced by taking dinner to her family of five. Nothing fancy, but comfort food: pot roast and brown gravy, mashed potatoes, green beans, fresh fruit salad and brownies. She'll feel satisfied if not healed by the last course! Chocolate has definite healing properties.
As I checked out at the first grocery, the woman bagging asked the question of the day, "So, are you fixing a big Easter dinner this weekend?" I'm sure she'll hear most women reply with menus of ham and potato salad or maybe something made with jello and pretzels. She looked disappointed when I answered, "No, not really. You see, my family's involved at church all weekend. We always have been, really, and after 3 days and 5 services, they just want to veg." She nodded muttering a polite "Oh." I felt like I was suddenly un-American or un-Christian or something very "un". I tried to smile at her and assure her that we loved our church. The one right down the street. It's great. She kept nodding and dismissed me with "Well, have a good one, Hon." I felt I had somehow failed at Invite-Someone-To Church 101.
Driving home, I wondered when Easter became all about ham. I like ham. A lot, actually, but seriously, how did it become an Easter staple? We can't escape the bunny hiding eggs. (Not carrots or anything associated with rabbits. How do you explain bunnies with eggs?) For way too many, Easter means meals spread on pastel tablecloths along with candy, chicks, daffodils, and children snatching dyed eggs before others can grab them. It's tradition. Don't mess with tradition if you want to get along with Great Uncle Albert or better yet, your mother-in-law who prepared all this food. Still, I wonder, how can we shine the spotlight on, as Linus from Peanuts might say, "...what it's all about, Charlie Brown."
For me, Easter is tied in the top spot with Christmas. I adore waking on Easter Sunday picturing the joy that Mary, Martha and all the Christ followers must have felt when they found out Jesus was alive. As one of His, my insides sing with excitement on Easter. I imagine what it would have felt like to be in their company. The wide-eyed disbelief followed by hugs and shouts of promise and laughter. Oh, to feel that excitement about my savior every morning! I don't have to be one of those believers in the garden staring at an empty tomb. I'm seeing my own empty tomb that was once filled with a self-centered life that only gave me frustration, jealousy, worry and despair. A grim hole with no sign of light. That was before I gave in. I turned everything over to Jesus and said, "I trust you. You lead and I'll follow." Now, there's a light shining - it never goes out. Now, I look to heaven knowing where my savior waits for me. He's with the Father. He's with my loved ones. He's waiting to show me the room he has ready for me in a place I can't even imagine. Because he won. He defeated death. I'll live with Him forever. All because I surrendered to the the One who loves me most. You can have my candy and ham - I'll take the Risen Christ.