Holy Saturday – that’s what it’s called. I had to do some research because I’m a Protestant and we don’t formally observe lent. Although I grew up Catholic, it has been a few decades since I observed holy days. And yet I woke on the Saturday before Easter thinking of the disciples and all of the followers of Christ. I pondered their state of mind and heart, realizing that they didn’t know that Sunday morning was coming, as we Christians proclaim. And then I got on with my day.
Hubby and I walked a 5k on Holy Saturday. It was kind of a big deal, since he was 56 days post-op from a spinal fusion with laminectomy. He walked 3.1 miles pushing a walker and stuffing his pride; we were dead last. He hasn’t recovered his speed, but his determination is fully intact. In our small town, we saw a lot of people we know early Saturday morning and the question “Are you ready for Easter?” was part of the conversation.
Later we joined our small group, young couples with a gaggle of children the perfect age for an egg hunt, and as we sat in a circle under a massive oak, the question was asked again… “Are you ready for Easter?”
By midafternoon I realized that Publix would be closed on Easter Sunday. We needed a few things so I left my recovering mate on the sofa watching college hoops and headed out. The store was busy. Without fail, every person I spoke with asked “Are you ready for Easter?”
Hours later I lay my head on my pillow. I thought about the day and ran through my list of things to worry, err, I mean pray about. My heart went back to the plight of those early Christians and I thought of how much power was present – they just hadn’t experienced it and were unaware of the miracle they were about to experience. And the question nagged at me: Are you ready for Easter?
I had answered it awkwardly all day. “We don’t have any little ones around – there isn’t much to prepare.” “I haven’t dyed eggs in years, but I so miss that…” “I’m not preparing a big meal, so not much to do.”
It wasn’t difficult to find sleep, though. According to my Fit Bit I logged well over ten thousand steps and I was tired. But this morning, I woke before dawn and the question popped into my mind immediately.
Are you ready for Easter?
Well, are you?
Mary approached the tomb before dawn. Thinking Jesus’ body had been taken, she was devastated. It wasn’t until he spoke her name and she looked into his face that she recognized her living Lord. The disciples, still overcome by fear of the Jews, were locked in a room when Jesus came seeking them, revealing his hands and his side. This was the first Easter Sunday.
As I write this, first light is dawning and the question begs an answer. Am I ready for Easter?
I can relate to the disciples. I experience defeat – things often don’t turn out the way that I was sure God would want them to. I’ve been known to lock my heart up in fear, so I can surely understand their seclusion when Jesus went looking for them. I even miss the obvious good news – just as Mary saw the empty tomb and her first thought was a stolen corpse, I often miss the miracles.
But Easter. Because of the resurrection, I have hope. Because of the resurrection, I will celebrate hope. He is risen!
I am ready for Easter. I suspect I’m not the only soul who woke this morning in need of a fresh wind of the power of the resurrection. Whether you are sharing family traditions with a crowd, are working at your job or working through challenging circumstances, I pray that you will encounter Jesus. He is calling us to exchange our doubt and fear for the hope and power of his resurrection.
Happy Easter, my friends. He is risen; He is risen indeed!
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and look at my hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!”
John 11:27 NLT
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