Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter: a season of discovery

Easter, at least in the eyes of children, is all about discovery. Most of us probably participated in either family-centered or organized egg hunts during our early years. Do you remember the feeling of exhilaration when you were able to fill your basket with brightly colored or decorated eggs? Or the disappointment when only two or three were found?

When I was a little boy this yearly ritual was orchestrated by my mother. She would hard boil the eggs the day before Easter Sunday. My siblings and I would then dip the eggs in various pans of dyed water utilizing a little copper wire to hold the eggs. Sometimes we would use crayons to scribble designs on the eggs before baptizing them in the colored water. Other times we would dye the eggs first, then attach decals or stickers, usually depicting little chicks or bunny rabbits. Our imaginations were limitless. The anticipation was gratifying.

The eggs were laid out on the kitchen counter to dry, and the next day my mother would take them from the refrigerator and hide them in the yard. At the appropriate moment she would give the ‘okay,’ and the hunt was on. Each of us was hopeful of discovering more eggs than the others.

Times have changed since those bygone days. Today families purchase plastic eggs and fill them with sweets.  Chocolate Easter bunnies come in all shapes and sizes. And did you know that those little blue and yellow marshmallow Peeps are the second most popular Easter candy?

Easter, spiritually speaking, is arguably the holiest experience in the calendar year for many people. It will be acknowledged by church processions and special religious services. Pilgrims and sojourners from throughout the world will travel to Jerusalem for Holy Week, those incredibly significant days that lead up to Easter Sunday.

We are reminded by a simple but profound passage of scripture in the Bible that sets the stage for this extraordinary experience of Easter; an empty tomb and an angel declaring, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”  Suddenly we realize it’s not the coloring, hiding and finding eggs that make Easter a noteworthy event, but rather the awareness that this day signifies a refreshing, new beginning and a time of renewed hope.   

Easter is about redemption, love, grace, restoration and forgiveness, and so much more. Upon reflection perhaps we should adopt the innocent mindset of a child and embrace this special season as a journey of discovery. Who knows how many blessings we might find.

Wishing you a happy and meaningful Easter.

Jim Dorsey, Chaplain
Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Chaplain Dorsey, for taking me on this wonderful trip down memory lane. You brought me right back to my own childhood, when Easter was one of the few truly special times of the year when our Mother took us to get new clothes and shoes for Easter Sunday! I can still feel the itch of stiff new petticoats under an oh-so-pretty new dress; and remember how exciting it was to go to church on Easter morning! And I also cherish, the time around the kitchen table coloring eggs; and have kept that tradition alive with my own children and grand-children. Sure there are plenty of plastic eggs out there, but nothing is more bonding than that time spent around the kitchen table dying eggs for Easter.
    Gayleen Leach