Merciful God, creator of all the peoples of the earth and lover of souls: Have compassion on all who do not know you as you are revealed in your Son Jesus Christ; let your Gospel be preached with grace and power to those who have not heard it; turn the hearts of those who resist it; and bring home to your fold those who have gone astray; that there may be one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Book of Common Prayer
As a young child, Easter always seemed like the more enjoyable holiday. If the Easter bunny was going to give gifts, I imagined they weren’t stressed like Santa Claus was. I figured they didn’t worry about what gifts might need to be returned later, or about the 500 dinner parties they would have to host or be invited to. Easter always seemed calmer than Christmas.
Family was MOSTLY better at Easter. My fondest Easter was one the year before my Grandad passed away. I was 4 and it felt like perfection. Being still young, all of my cousins weren’t ignoring me and my brother and I could do various things and get folks to laugh easily. My Grandad was frail, but he held the majority of us grandkids and talked to us. As I type this, I can still remember sitting on his lap. I remember that my Aunts and Uncles seemed to all get along, which wasn’t normal, and there was so much Cool Whip on the table it was ridiculous (my family LOVES Cool Whip…I don’t.)
Easter also brings back thoughts of the meaning of the day/weekend. With Easter, most folks don’t really have to keep saying “this or that is the meaning of the season.” If you believe, you don’t feel a marketed obligation to do specific non-religious things (unless you put them on yourself), and if you do not believe, then it’s just a nice day off, perhaps with family, food, candy and rest. And if you are otherwise affiliated, I’d assume you are annoyed, you don’t care or you are more concerned about Passover.
If there is a lesson, perhaps it is reminding us of sacrifice. If God truly came to earth to sacrifice himself for us, for whatever reason, if GOD, a GOD, THE GOD, this deity higher than humans sacrificed his life for people, what then are we sacrificing for our fellow man? How are we loving our fellow man? The earth in which we have been entrusted with?
If your actions don’t further improve the world, people and things around you, then perhaps we aren’t sacrificing and doing the correct actions. Build, love, give, help and encourage. If you do the least of these, love, love and love.