Up from the grave he arose…

So many of my friends were raised similarly to me…..I’m almost embarrassed to write anything about the Easter holiday for fear that my stories are nothing special or out of the ordinary. So I suppose writing this morning is simply a way for me to walk through my memories and help you recall yours….

First of all, there is (in my mind) nothing wrong with Easter eggs, hiding Easter eggs or bunnies, chocolate or otherwise. Never did I worry about it being Pagan or Wiccan or anything other than fun and tradition and neither did my parents. (some Christians are out to ruin everything)….JUST KIDDING!

And we were BIG on tradition. Real Big.

Let’s start with those EGGS. Boiling Easter eggs on Saturday before Easter was just the best! No cute little kits or paper wrapping for us. We used food coloring and vinegar and if we wanted them to be fancy we would use a crayon on the egg before dipping…usually it was the sign of the cross (told you we weren’t pagan). The eggs made a tremendous mess in the kitchen but this time. mother didn’t seem to mind, because she loved it too.

Easter Sunday meant a new outfit for us all. A new dress, new shoes and when I was little, a hat and gloves. We took the traditional picture before walking across the road to First Baptist Church to celebrate BIG.

Between Sunday School and worship the men all stood outside and smoked. (I’ll bet they did at your church too) and nobody worried about it at all. Sunday School was shortened on Easter so we could have the big FBC egg hunt, and believe it or not, one year I WON! Whoo-Hoo! How exciting! What would the prize be? Money? Candy?………

A RABBIT. A REAL LIVE RABBIT.

Lord have mercy, I was so excited! This big fat bunny was mine! Needless to say, Irene was not as excited. NOT AT ALL.

In my mother’s world animals were for eating or hunting other animals. Her depression era mindset meant not wasting money on anything not useful.

After all, it had only been a year or two since I convinced (begged) her to buy 2 chickens (dyed pink and yellow) at Senn’s Five and Ten in Thayer. It was Easter week and the chicks were outside the store in cardboard boxes. All colors!! Those chickens, my two chicks, were so precious!! I named them JoKay and Eleanor after my big sister and her best friend.

Of course I did.

Then there was the Sunday that we had fried chicken for lunch and somebody (probably Mike) broke the bad news that mother had hand-idly made JoKay and Eleanor our sacrificial lunch. I was pretty darned upset but I got over it….and you know, it was really good fried chicken after all.

In her defense, the color had grown out and off the feathers and they were just really mean chickens running around our yard for no good reason.

See what I mean about the animals? But I digress.

Back to my bunny. Mother had bought a rabbit hutch for my Easter rabbit and she sprang for the rabbit food too. Everyday I got off the bus from school and took my bunny out of the hutch and fed him clover from the yard. He apparently loved it. He got fatter and fatter and meaner and meaner.

Don’t judge unless you’ve dealt with a really fat, mean bunny.

And of course you know what’s next. I get off the bus one day and the bunny was gone, hutch and all. Mother sold him to Clifford England. At least that was the story……

After that we didn’t really get into chickens or rabbits much.

But my Easter memories are still rich and precious, sans animals.

Memories of spring. Memories of family gatherings, memories of wonderful church services and music, all which helped us understand that death is defeated. The sacrifice has been made. It is over.

This season, this year….my goodness, how many sacrifices have we all made? We have stayed inside, we have forgone in person worship, in person school……business owners have sacrificed profits and we’ve learned how to do everything differently and safely.

We need a resurrection.

We need assurance that this dark night is over. We need rebirth and joy. We need each other.

We need church.

We need faith, friends, the promise of spring. The promise given through Christ’s death and resurrection. The promise of new life.

And if by chance, you throw in a few bunny or chicken memories it’s all the better.

I close my eyes and listen…. “Up from the grave he arose “…… Daddy singing that bass line loud and strong! I hope he’s singing it in heaven…..and I hope he gets the words right. No animals mother, not a one…. but instead there are little grandchildren and Easter eggs and all the fun. You would love it, because…..

Easter is here and we are saved.

Low in the grave He lay
Jesus my Savior!
Waiting the coming day
Jesus my Lord!Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose a Victor from the dark domain

And He lives forever with His saints to reign
He arose! (He arose)
He arose! (He arose)
Hallelujah! Christ arose!Vainly they watch His bed
Jesus, my Savior!
Vainly they seal the dead
Jesus my Lord!Up from the grave He arose

With a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose a Victor from the dark domain
And He lives forever with His saints to reign
He arose! (He arose)
He arose! (He arose)

Hallelujah! Christ arose!Death cannot keep his prey
Jesus, my Savior!
He tore the bars away
Jesus my Lord!Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose a Victor from the dark domain
And He lives forever with His saints to reign
He arose! (He arose)
He arose! (He arose)

Hallelujah! Christ arose!Up from the grave He arose
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes
He arose a Victor from the dark domain
And He lives forever with His saints to reign
He arose! (He arose)
He arose! (He arose)
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Published by swcall58

I'm a wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother....a retired choral director living with stage 4 lung cancer. My faith sustains me and my writing is therapy. Day by Day.

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