As a child, I grew up in a family (with my grand parents) where church was an every week occurrence and Wednesday night prayer meetings were not optional. I didn't learn much about Christianity, but I would became well acquainted with church services, a blind spot I would embrace for many years.
Yesterday, Good Friday on the church calendar. I was in church again, but this time - while everything else seemed to be common place to me, my heart didn't seem to notice. Good Friday!
I know the meaning. That was the day on the calendar of the church when my Lord was crucified, dead and buried and the widows wept, the curtain was divided according to legend and dead men, like me, were set free = the glorious Day of Atonement had arrived. The "divine wrath" was appeased.
Now, centuries later, I could be seated in that pew, and feel comfortable that my sins had been removed from the sight and memory of the God of creation who had ordained the day of my birth.
But yesterday, as my mind tried to comprehend all of that, the tears began to fall, especially those that come from my right eye. I don't understand that, but it seems to happen whenever I sense the presence of God in an experience when I have showed mercy for something that had been, disappointing.
My yesterday had been a day filled to the brim with disappointments. And yet it seemed, I was drawn to attend church on this particular day for no better reason, based on my faith, it was the place to be.
The choir was singing, "Were you there - when they crucified my Lord"? And I realized, I was there.
As the service drew to a close, we all rose to sing - along the choir, 'Were You There". And then there was that last verse, "Were you there - when they laid Him in the grave?"
The street outside the church was alive with birds singing, flowers blooming, and people hurrying back to wherever they had come from. It was much like Sunday church on a Spring day. People doing what people do best. Hurrying, some would say, scurrying, to resume the life that is our custom.
My prayer for myself and all others, tomorrow - Sunday, on the calendar, will be a new day. On that day, we will probably sing, "He is alive!". I hope that we will. Indeed, I pray that we will.
And if it doesn't happen, there is always that chorus I have often sung to myself, "From sinking sands, He lifted me. With tender hand, He lifted me. From shades of night to shades of light, Oh praise His name, He lifted me,"
To me, that is the meaning of Easter to me. Eighty-four years of living among the 'shades of night' and now to have experienced once again, the memory of what has made my daily walk, a journey embracing the 'shares of light', a reality that is little more than an figment of misunderstanding for far too many.
Easter is a new day a-dawning. Come, all you who are weary and worn down by the problems that appear to have overshadowed your lives. Come now, it can be a bright and shiny day. Let's walk on.