An Easter Reflection

I will not be attending Easter services today.
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Creative Commons - from stock.xchng photo: http://www.freeimages.com/photo/698724I will not witness the rows of shiny, white patent-leather shoes, frilly dresses, and uncomfortable neckties. I will not gasp when the black shroud is dramatically pulled down from the cross. I will not hear the Hallelujah Chorus. I will not see the lilies. I will drink coffee. I will reflect. I will probably write. I will enjoy the Mason jars filled with orange tulips on my kitchen table. And later, I will decorate Easter eggs with my daughters. I might even open a bottle of champagne.

I’ve been pondering all of this; what it means and feels like to be disconnected from this Sunday’s tradition, but still umbilically tied to its rituals, its in-my-DNA tug and influence. I’ve pondered even more of how Easter is not exclusive to the church; how if it offers meaning, if it matters, then its value remains and must be made known in ways that are rich and relevant for me

And oh, how rich and relevant it’s been. This whole week, has been rife with symbol and sign (as all weeks are, really). This Holy Week (as all weeks are, really) has called me to story; to death and darkness, to sadness and loss, to questions without answers, to a can’t-see-how-it’s-gonna-happen-but-still-I’m-gonna-trust kind of hope, to perseverance, to risk, to courage, to voice, to confidence, to places and people who call me to more. This whole and holy week has called me to life; to my life. And isn’t this, above and beyond all else, what Easter is about – church, religion, or no? 

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?” asked Jesus when he encountered Mary in the graveyard.

Indeed. My holy and whole life (and yours) is to be found and experienced where life dwells: in deep breaths and coursing blood, in muscle and bone, in earth and water, in conversation and silence, in laughter and tears, in friends and foes, in facing fears and choosing love, in the sacred stuff of every day. 

So breathe in and rise up. A new day dawns. Light gleams. Stones move. The earth quakes. Buried, silenced, and shrouded ends. Tombs are emptied. Veils are torn. Angels appear. Graveclothes are shed. Death does not have the final say. Song breaks forth. Miracles occur.

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And resurrection always comes.

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    { 10 comments… read them below or add one }

    Deborah Hansen April 20, 2014 at

    These words mean more to me than I could ever express. Thanks for your honesty that gives hope to my battered soul.

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2014 at

    You are more than welcome, Deborah. May even more hope yet surprise, enter, and stay. xoxo

    Reply

    Coral Levang April 20, 2014 at

    How this resonates with me!

    Having shunned so many of the rituals that hold little meaning compared to what they did when I was younger, I have felt lost. I have lost connections to those people who judge me because of the questions I have in regards to why they cling to the rituals, but discard the connections to the people they say the rituals once or twice a year will save.

    As we have discussed recently, it’s lonely out there for those who are far out front looking for the answers, trying to slay the dragons far ahead, so others do not have to fight, as they are unarmed.

    I am tired. Tired of the rituals. Tired of the fighting. Tired of feelings on loneliness. Tired of feeling like I must be the one to keep rising again to set a leadership example to those who want to remain dead in the rituals. Perhaps, I am the one who has it all wrong.

    As always, I am awed by your candor and wisdom and willingness, Ronna. And you know that I love you with all of my heart. Truly. xo
    Coral Levang recently posted..Two Years Later, the ER and a Blur

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2014 at

    I get the “tired,” my friend. May this day offer you renewal, restoration, and redemption in ways you WANT, need, understand, and long for. And of course, I love you back…

    Reply

    Jacqui Avery April 20, 2014 at

    I find this fascinating as the lilies are the only bit of the ritual I recognise from my church in the UK. “I will not witness the rows of shiny, white patent-leather shoes, frilly dresses, and uncomfortable neckties. I will not gasp when the black shroud is dramatically pulled down from the cross. I will not hear the Hallelujah Chorus.” None of that is part of the ritual (whoops – mistyped ‘rut’ there!) for me. But I’m with you 100% on finding the meaning where life dwells: surely as women we need to embody this story, finding our own ways of living passion and resurrection which make us feel (and be) more alive. Thanks – as always – for your thoughts.
    Jacqui Avery recently posted..Photo Journey Through Lent: Day 46 and Easter Day (Passage + Risen)

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2014 at

    “Finding meaning where life dwells.” Yes, Jacqui, this. May it be so. xoxo

    Reply

    Peter Letheby April 20, 2014 at

    OK, a guy here — found this on a friend’s Facebook page and absolutely loved it. I shun the annual symbolism, ceremonial services, the finding of salvation only in stories written when they thought the sun revolved around the Earth. “You didn’t go to church on Easter?” they may ask, those who themselves rarely attend church. I didn’t, but today (again) I noticed the cat’s purr, felt the comforting breezes, was touched by the smile of a friend — this is God at work. I love your focus on the “now.” That’s all we have. Faith is wonderful, but faith comes in many ways — mostly faith in ourselves to make the world around us more compassionate and loving.

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2014 at

    Grateful that you’re here, Peter. And grateful that your day offered you an experience of faith and the divine that speaks/feels/matters.

    Reply

    april April 20, 2014 at

    tears form in my eyes as i read your lovely words, ronna. i too did not attend any services – i no longer participate in the rituals of my youth. but yet this week, this holy week, i acknowledged the anniversary of my beloved mom’s death. and i celebrated my own birth today, on easter sunday. a week of deep introspection, grief and gratefulness, and the embracement of life.
    april recently posted..walking on fire

    Reply

    Ronna Detrick April 20, 2014 at

    It can (still) be such an emotional day, can’t it? No matter how far we move from the rituals and even the beliefs. And for you, April, goodness, a week that has been full – of memory, of grief, of celebration. Much “life” to be sure. And I’m hopeful that in the midst of it all, you felt a sense of the Sacred that spoke in powerful, relevant, and deeply personal ways.

    Reply

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