I am reminded of a holy week I spent a number of years ago. After Palm Sunday service, I was diagnosed with kidney stones and spent four days in hospital. The hospital was exceptionally full so I was to spend time those four days in a four bed ward in the children's department of the hospital. There was the man beside who was getting his appendix out and the two men across from me who had both ruptured major muscles in their legs and needed surgery to repair their legs.
We were all as different as we could be. I was a minister with the United Church of Canada. The man beside went to a very small pentecostal church somewhere. During his hospitalisation, prayer vigils were said almost constantly by his side. Sometimes up to six people would be seen praying for him.
The man directly across from me in the ward, was a teacher who was definitely agnostic. He wasn't anti-church, but you could see him being a bit uncomfortable with the continual the prayer givers. The man beside him belonged to a heavy metal rock band and was openly hostile to any religion.
All four of us were very different. Yet somehow in the midst of my agony with my stones, I realised that Easter was going to come for all four of us. Despite the fact that we thought differently about God and how we prayed, hope was given to each one of us. We had not earned it. We had done nothing to deserve it. It was just given. Whether we wanted to recognise it or not, our world was different because of Easter.
Easter just happened again. For some it means nothing other than a stat holiday. For some it is a day to be with the family. For those in the northern hemisphere it means looking for signs of new life in the winter. For those of us in southern hemisphere it is a time to plant seeds. For believers it means that Christ is Risen. For some they mark the day with chocolate, breaking Lenten fasts, and such. Easter can mean so many things.
No matter how or if you celebrate Easter, I do know one thing. Easter means that we have been reconciled with God. God has acted and we are changed. Things are not the same again. New hope, new light, new possibilities exist because of this day. Blessings.
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