DO NOT READ UNTIL EASTER MORNING!
So, you decided to read it anyway… That’s okay. The Easter message isn’t just for Easter. It’s a year-round message.
A friend of mine recently posted a picture on social media and it got me to thinking. The picture was of a sidewalk sign - it was built like a sandwich board sign but resting on the sidewalk. It read: “Find HOPE This Easter” and the letters were filled with glistening spring grass and brightly colored Easter eggs.
The symbolism of the sign caught me off-guard. I thought about being a kid at St. James Episcopal Church in Greenville, Mississippi, where I grew up. Every Easter we had a grand Easter egg hunt on the church grounds which were the size of a city block. For the kids that were over 6 or 7, the eggs were plastic. They were filled with the usual candy and some even had change or paper money in them. There was also a Golden Egg for each age group. Now, when I say egg, I mean egg. Think size of your fists put together… The anticipation and excitement of finding, of seeking, during those years obviously made a mark on me. I’ll tell you about finding the Golden Egg three years in a row another time.
But here is what I was struck with the other day after my stroll down memory lane. Even today, as adults, we are all still seekers. We are all still searching for Hope in some way. Yes, even those of us who are “Pros” at this church thing. Sometimes, more often than I’d like to admit probably, we are wandering around searching for that “Golden Egg” - that “thing” to give us HOPE. We find a few brightly colored eggs with candy or maybe even some pocket change and we have a little “hope” for a little while. But eventually we realize that we aren’t really satisfied or fulfilled. We realize that we haven’t found that thing that we were meant to do - or haven’t become who we were meant to be. Then we continue on trying to find something more.
But, here’s the thing. That “Golden Egg”, that thing that we are searching for, is already in plain view. Perhaps it’s so blatantly obvious that we can’t see it. Maybe we haven’t looked closely enough or aren’t really trying. But HOPE is there and it abounds. We have already been handed the “Golden Egg” - it has been lain at our feet - we just have to pick it up.
Of course, I’m talking about Jesus. The Resurrected Christ is HOPE. HOPE that no matter our circumstance, no matter our station in life, no matter what our self-disparaging minds tell us, no matter what the world around us says…GOD LOVES YOU!
Surely that gives you HOPE. The promise of God to always be with us—the same God that defeated death, the same God that rose from the dead, the same God that loves us because of who we are (not in spite of who we are), the God of ALL creation—promises to not let you be alone.
I pray that you may find HOPE this Easter and beyond.
Fr. Will ✝