Thursday, April 15, 2010
The Preacher’s Corner
Every Sunday ought to be a little Easter
Last Saturday I saw a little girl and her grandmother hunting Easter eggs in the front yard. It did not seem to matter that it was a week late. When you are 4, fun does not have to correspond with any particular date on the calendar, and hiding and finding colorful eggs filled with candy is fun just about any time.
This set me to thinking about the time my little cousin and I combined hiding and hunting for Easter eggs (which is a “next to favorite” activity), with what was, for us, a little boy’s “favorite” activity: digging in a pile of dirt!
My cousin’s grandmother had had a truck load of sandy loam hauled into her back yard to enrich her flower beds for spring planting. I don’t know if people in Holly Springs have loads of sandy loam hauled in or not, but down in the Delta where people had built their homes on land that had formerly been used as cotton fields, it was a necessity.
That Delta gumbo would not grow a flower. You had to build up that soil with a different kind of dirt.
At any rate, my cousin’s grandmother had not yet spread the pile in her beds, so my cousin and I began playing with our toy trucks, building roads and tunnels, and also burying Easter eggs.
After a while we wandered off to other things, forgetting our eggs, which were not “re-discovered” until Grand-mother Nelson dug in with her spade several weeks later. By her account the sulfurous smell of those rotten eggs nearly knocked her out. Children these days seem to use plastic eggs. Oh, the joys of our childhood days of yore!
Easter is a big Sunday, of course, and it is over just as soon as it arrives, and as my little cousin and I demonstrated by our thoughtless behavior, how quickly we forget. We think of Easter as a one-day event. But really, every Sunday ought to be a little Easter. We worship on Sunday because that is the day the Lord arose. We should never lose the wonder.
Unfortunately, humans cannot sustain the wonder, and we should not be surprised that they cannot.
The traditional Christian calendar reserves the entire 40 days after Easter for an extended celebration, but modern persons seem to prefer anticipation to commemoration. There are always lots more people in church on the Sunday before Easter than on the Sunday after.
Last Sunday was the lowest attendance we’ve had (other than when there is snow or ice) in my entire ministry in Holly Springs. I would be embarrassed to put in The South Reporter the exact number, but I was reminded of a verse (St. Matthew 26:56) that says of Jesus, “Then all the disciples forsook him and fled.”
It is a reminder that we all like to be present for the triumph, but not so much for the week in and week out routine. I am grateful for the faithful few who support the church when “nothing special” is happening. Ministers notice and remember who these people are.
This weekend brings the Pilgrimage and my people will be going in all directions for that, but I hope after that, our churches can get back to the high calling and great privilege of worshiping the living God.
Would that we all had the sense of delight and expectancy I saw in that little child still hunting her Easter eggs the week after Easter.
Like the joy that I saw in her, our faith ought to bring us a sense of anticipation and expectancy every week!
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