When I was growing up, my mother created elaborate Easter baskets for my brother and me. She never purchased a pre-made basket from the store. She always purchased baskets, grass, eggs, coloring books, stuffed bunnies, and candy with our individual tastes in mind. The presentation of these bountiful baskets was often like a second Christmas morning. Once I was all dressed for church in whichever dress, sock, mary jane, purse, hairbow combo she had spent an unseemly amount of money on, I was allowed to come downstairs and open my Easter basket. (after I had taken a picture with it of course)
Throughout my life we often took Easter pictures, and so many of the photos of my brother and me from ages 6 to 14 are on Easter Sunday. When I think about it now, I realize that part of the reason we got so dressed up for Easter is because Easter was an opportunity for us to see ourselves in a new way, just as God chose to see us in a new way when he sacrificed his Son.
My mom made us Easter baskets until I was about 20 years old, and then somehow a quiet decision was made that there would be no more baskets. And this is when I had to tap into the true meaning of Easter.
I knew from years of going to church that Easter is a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection. I believed that Jesus died on the cross for my sins so that I could have a chance at eternal life. However, without the steeple, the dress, and the baskets I had to find a new meaning in Easter Sunday. I had to come to an understanding that the thing that adult me could expect on Easter is the thing that Jesus gave through his death and resurrection: A SECOND CHANCE AT SECOND CHANCES.
I can’t remember who said it, but one of my favorite sayings is that “Humans have the opportunity everyday to re-invent themselves at breakfast.” We often think that the natural order of things if for us to live until we die, but the true meaning of Easter is that we must die in order to live. Easter is a reminder that even when we feel buried, trapped, shut in and shutdown, a tomb was rolled away and found empty, so that we would not have to go through life as a sum of our emptiness.
This was put on my heart this morning, perhaps because I needed a space to express it. Perhaps because it will touch someone. Either way, I wish everyone a Happy Easter.