Celebrating the holiest time of the year
Easter bunnies, bright baskets, chocolates, eggs and a whole lot more. They’re just some of the memories I have as a child around Easter time.
But perhaps one of my greatest memories surrounding Easter was getting to bed early the night before and rolling out of bed at 3:30 in the morning. Yep, that’s right, 3:30 a.m.
When I tell people this story, they often look at me like, why in the world would you ever get up at that forsaken hour.
Our family always attended Easter Sunrise services at our small country church at 5 a.m., well before the sun even thought of cracking out. As the Easter service rolled along with everyone rubbing their eyes and trying to wake up, the sun usually made an appearance by the time the service was over.
After the sunrise service, we would eat breakfast and join in fellowship at church and hang around until the 9 a.m. service.
But you’re probably still asking: Why 3:30 a.m.?
Prior to heading off to church, we would skip around the house searching for the goodies left behind by the Easter bunny. The baskets were always so well hidden that it took some extra time to locate them.
For some reason, not sure why, the Easter bunny was always pretty generous to all of us. We had enough goodies to last us a lifetime. Well, maybe not quite that long. But you get the idea.
The Easter bunny, however, has been only a small part of my Easter experience. Throughout the years, I’ve experienced some important activities marking the pain and suffering Jesus Christ endured in his path to being crucified and rising from the dead a few days later.
During my high school years, I was involved in a passion play at church on Good Friday. It’s an experience I will never forget.
As I grow older, I recognize even more the importance of Holy Week and the events leading up to Easter morning. It’s always fun to watch children wave palm branches during the opening hymn at Palm Sunday service.
The crazy hours on Easter morning have leveled off since I left home. Though the church still stands, there are no longer any services there. My new church home offers breakfast at 7 a.m. followed by regular services. So there is really no need to disrupt the entire house at 3:30 a.m. any longer.
As you celebrate Easter this weekend, I ask that you don’t forget the real reason for the holiday. Easter is the most important and oldest festival of the Christian church. We need to remember how Jesus died for us to save us from all of our sins.
I won’t be getting up at 3:30 this year, but be sure I’ll be up early enough to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus like I have done for my entire life.
It’s the least I can do for someone who has gone in hot pursuit of saving us.