Easter Memories

"Up from the grave He arose!"

Can't you just hear the words? ...starting low and building to a crescendo? That's Easter to me.

Easter was going to church early in the morning when everything was still foggy and damp. I'd be wearing my new pink dress and white shoes and hat, with the elastic under my chin. Sometimes I had white gloves and a little purse too. We'd stand outside and listen to the pastor read the account of that first Easter when the women found the tomb empty.

We never had Easter baskets. We dyed white eggs (Isn't that the only time hens lay them?), dipping them in vinegar and food coloring. My mother would hide them around the house and we would search for them that morning. The pink and blue and green hard boiled eggs were always a disappointment to eat. They looked better than they tasted.

My mother also made some hollow sugar eggs that we peeped into, to see little scenes made of frosting. One year, we found them stuffed with dog food that a mouse had stolen and stored away.

When I grew up and had children of my own, I carried on the traditions. We dyed eggs and hid them, or sometimes hid jellybeans around on bookshelves and windowsills. Every once in awhile, some child would find a forgotten jellybean weeks later. What a treasure!

Outfits of flowery dresses for the girls and suit coats and ties for the boys were fitted and cleaned and ironed. Sometime that day, pictures would be taken. Our church also met early in the morning for the Sunrise Service. (For a long time, we met at the beach; but in Maine, it is more apt to snow and sleet in March or April than for the sun to rise, so we moved our service indoors...and eventually even met at 7:00 instead of 6:00. But I miss the adventure of those blustery times.) The songs "He Lives" and "He Arose" sound best early on Easter morning with birds chirping and a fresh breeze in your face.

Instead of going home again, our church family met for breakfast, with scrambled eggs, bacon, muffins, sausages, pancakes, french toast, orange juice, and coffee, of course. All the clattering of dishes and people talking are part of the memory. In the sanctuary, the lingering scent of coffee mingled with the sharp scent of the lilies, plus the fresh odor of the cleaning the building received that week.

Visitors joined us this Sunday, for they were brought up to go to church on Easter. Isn't it great that our country still celebrates this holiday? It's one that is truly based on a Biblical event. Once a year, our country acknowledges the Lord. They try to turn it to bunnies and chicks and spring flowers, but deep down they know; and some come to church that day, even if it is once in the whole year.

On a church sign I saw these words:

Morning Service 11:00
Easter People Welcome

They didn't change it for months, and every time I passed it, I thought, "Who are Easter people? Are they the ones who only go to church on Easter morning? Easter people should be those who know that Christ is alive! We should be Easter people all the time."

I want to be an Easter person. I want to live everyday with the joy of knowing that my God is living in me and through me.

What are some of your Easter memories?


ServinGsus said...

"...like a might triumph o'er His foes..." Yes, that song does indeed mean Easter!

"He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today; He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way. He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart. You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!"

I, too, want to be an "Easter person." My kids and I are talking about a part of Passion Week each morning and their prayer at nap time yesterday blew me away:

"Jesus, thank you for getting up on that cross. It must have hurt. I'm really glad You showed me how much You love me. Now that You don't live on earth any more, I hope you are comfortable living in my heart. I hope you have a great day in there, Amen." This year, THAT is going to be my favorite part of Easter ... watching their faith grow!

Anonymous said...

I love Resurrection Day and those hymns more than
Christmas. I remember dyeing eggs, and new outfits.

Judith Schultz said...

wonderful post - enjoyed reading it. Take care, Judith

Sue said...

What a beautiful post full of memories for you & your family. Made me take a moment to remember my own Easter family members!


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