Dear Oak Grove Friends,
I recently heard that some people I know are planning to celebrate Easter with a big family dinner. They have invited the guests and are planning the menu. However, their plans do not include any participation in church on that day, or any other day. They are celebrating Easter without celebrating the resurrection of Christ.
I have to admit this bothers me a great deal. For my entire life, Easter celebrations have included church services that proclaim the risen Christ. When I was little, Easter also meant new dresses lovingly sewn by my grandmother. When I was nine or ten, I remember my excitement that my new Easter ensemble included gloves and a new purse. I didn’t really have anything to put in my purse, but I had a new straw purse as a part of my Easter outfit. I felt so grown up! But, even with the excitement of new clothes, I was always aware on some level that Easter was about more than new clothes…and bunnies…and egg hunts. So, when I heard about an Easter celebration that doesn’t include celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, I was disturbed.
Then, I began to look at my own plans for Holy Week and Easter. How many bulletins need to be designed and printed? How early will I have to get up and get on the road to make the sunrise service? How are the flowers for flowering the cross going to be delivered and cared for? Who will move the cross to the 10 acres and back? How many sermons do I need to write? As I mentally ran through all the details of Easter, I realized that I too was forgetting the most important part; taking time to truly appreciate the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and to fully celebrate his resurrection and all that means for me and for the world.
I don’t know what preparations you are making for Easter, but I hope they will include taking time to reflect on both the deep pain of the cross and the joy of the empty tomb. This newsletter contains information about our Holy Thursday Service and our Easter Services. I hope you will be able to join us as we contemplate the real reason we celebrate Easter.