Whenever I watch green shoots rise from dry, brown bulbs buried in the earth and burst into triumphant bloom, it’s hard not to see a picture of the Resurrection.
It was no exception when I planted a pot of narcissus bulbs at the end of February, looking forward to a little jump start on spring while the tulips still waited under the snow outside. I took photos as they grew, hopeful green rising to the sun, and then blossoming fragrant white in the center of the table in our sun porch. This would be the perfect set of photos for Easter, I thought, and had every intention of posting them on here in time for the holiday.
But then, in the midst of all the hustle and bustle of early-morning church breakfasts and services and a house full of feasting and family for a whole day, I never even touched the computer. The fact that I had missed my intended holiday posting date didn’t occur to me until the next morning—and then it was too late.At first I was disappointed. But then, as I sat in the sun porch the next morning, watching a wet and pearly gray dawn wash over the dining room table still wearing it’s candles and best white tablecloth from Sunday’s celebration, I suddenly realized that it was okay after all. Maybe, even, it was for the best.
Because while Easter Sunday is full of celebration, and multiple reminders at every turn to rejoice, this ordinary gray day with the raindrops making dents on the mud puddles in the brown yard and the pile of dirty dishes staring at me from the sink was decidedly lacking in reminders. There were no happy church breakfasts, with the men in aprons flipping pancakes in the kitchen and the ladies dressed in bright spring pastels sitting around tables set with jars of fresh-cut pussy willows. There were no jubilant strains of “Up From the Grave He Arose” soaring to the church rafters while the white lilies nod in front of the pulpit. The quantities of ham and cheesy potatoes that got served to a houseful of family had been consumed and we were back to oatmeal for breakfast. How quickly the spirit of celebration had faded away into everyday humdrum!
But as another favorite Easter song goes: “Because He lives, I can face tomorrow…and life is worth the living, just because He lives.” Though practically we can’t spend every day of the year dressed up in our best clothes, sitting around white-clothed tables laden with pots of yellow tulips and two whole mocha brownie tortes served on best china, I think it goes without saying that, deep down in our hearts, this spirit of joy and celebration should carry on into every day of the upcoming year. Because if it wasn’t for Easter, everyday life literally would not be worth the living.And so, I’m here to wish you a Happy Easter with my flower photos after all, with no apologies for the fact that it’s a whole week late. Or, more correctly, to declare, as many pastors did last Sunday around the world, “He is risen!” Because it’s still as true today as it was that day and every other day of the year.
And may you be reminded, on this ordinary day of the week, to echo back with assurance:
“He is risen indeed!”
“Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you…that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)