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New Series: My Contemplative Heart

February 1, 2013

For the two weeks between now and the beginning of the Lenten season, I plan to share with you a few of my own reflections. Some of these will be journal entries, written prayers, short poems, etc. I hope that these might bless and call you toward Lent, a time of emptying ourselves in order to be reborn.

The following was written several Easter’s ago but still resonates for me:

Easter was never a big deal growing up for me. We didn’t have big family dinners or community egg hunts. Our church was of the persuasion that we celebrated Easter every Sunday so we shouldn’t make a big deal out of the actual day.

I can remember one Easter when I planned my own egg hunt just to see what it would be like. I was the only kid invited…not my big brother…and I was the coordinator. I got plastic eggs, stuffed them with candy, and after lunch hid them in the yard. I played in my room for an hour, trying to forget where I had hidden them, and then went to get them. It wasn’t that much fun.

However, since I married, Easter has taken on a whole new feel. Our church celebrates Easter as a time when people who wouldn’t normally come to church, do. So, we plan cool stuff in worship and have a big egg hunt for the kids. My husband’s family always had a big family dinner at Easter and all the cousins would hunt eggs in the backyard.

I suppose it is some of the influence of growing up as I did, but this year I really struggled to get in the right mindset for Easter. I chose to observe the Lenten season by asking the question, “Where have I gotten away from God?” As I sat in that question for 40 days, I was shocked to see where I had really pulled away from God.

I had chosen to live in reality.

I have chosen to see life through the lenses of the probable and logical, the lenses of rational thinking and levelheaded judgment. I had lost my faith glasses.

As Easter morning dawned, dark and stormy at my house, I was still wrestling with the feeling that this was just like every other Sunday. My husband left long before dawn cracked, the kids had been up and down all night because of the storms, and I had to get all of us tired and cranky people ready and out of the door on time. I found myself asking God, “Why all the fuss? Why does today matter? Isn’t it just like every other Sunday?”

Easter 2009

As I began to get ready, resenting every movement I had to make as removing me farther and farther from my sleep, this thought settled over me. God is not dead. The tomb was empty then and it is empty now. It’s empty. But more than that, he came. He still comes. He is active. He is “on the move” as C.S. Lewis describes it.

Easter matters because God still moves. He chose to engage humanity in the form of Jesus and he still chooses to engage all of humanity. God is hovering, just as he did in Genesis 1 and he is revealing himself just as he did to Moses on the mountain. God is still shaping the course and path of the human race, one person at a time.

There is a Chris Tomlin song with these lines, “There is a day that’s drawing near when this darkness fades to light and all the shadows disappear and my faith shall be my eyes.”

It echoes in my mind.        God is on the move…

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