I’ve written often in my columns about Easter. Here are some of my favorite moments from the past.
The magic month of April is here and bringing Easter with it. Surely Easter belongs in the warmth of April rather than the unpredictable weather swings of March. But like so many other things in life, we take it when it comes and hope the sun will shine and the message of the resurrection will penetrate deeply into our hearts.
Attu our dog and I just came in from the orchard with a branch off a pear tree. (I call it an orchard. Do four trees make an "orchard"?)
The branch is rough and contains enough twigs to make it the perfect choice to use for an Easter tree.
With Attu watching through the window, I place the pear branch in an old speckled enamel coffee pot. I had brought a box of Easter decorations from the basement and got out the decorated eggs saved from previous years. Some of the eggs need new ribbons attached so that they, too, can be hung from the tree.
What fun the boys had decorating those eggs. They had carefully poked holes in the top and bottom of each fresh egg and then blown out the contents. Some of the shells were then dyed bright colors. Others were decorated with poster paints. Each had the individual touches of the boy making it. They are perfect to continue our family tradition of an Easter egg tree.
I am singing in the Sidney Methodist Church choir with Carol Golden as our director and organist. We have worked several weeks on the selections to be presented on Easter Sunday. When we first opened the music and saw it was The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, we thought, this is impossible. We are amateur singers, after all.
Carol did not recognize our limitations. She did not realize that the music was far beyond our abilities. With a wave of her hand, she had us off and singing.
During rehearsals she urged, cajoled, nagged, insisted, and finally got out of us the quality of music we did not realize we could produce. Our voices began to blend, weaving a wondrous pattern of harmony.
As I came home from choir rehearsal, I thought about how many other abilities we might have tucked away in the corners of our being. How much could we accomplish when we have someone like Carol to have faith and belief in us to help us stretch our talents? In fact, we can well motivate ourselves to do better if we just have confidence enough to pull out the creative power which is in us all.
Early on an April morning I was sitting at my desk as the glow of sunrise was just beginning to make itself known. My window faces west, but I could watch the white house across the road reflecting the pink rays of sunlight, creating my own alpine glow.
We have seen that kind of radiance when we have been camping in the mountains as the rays of light first reach the peaks above our heads. Eventually the light changes to amber and gold.
I was reminded of a gloomy spring day when I was in my twenties and working in the office of the Chicago church where I was youth director. Sitting in a second floor office, I suddenly HAD to see the sky! I went to the window, bent my head, and peered up between the skyscrapers lining both sides of the busy city street below.
There, in the center of my little stretch of blue sky, was a cloud glowing pink. Heartened, knowing the sun still shown somewhere, knowing the sky and clouds were still in the universe, I turned back to my work.
Easter week is like this for me. The love which Jesus showed to us through his life, his death, and his resurrection helps us understand better what God is like. A God who is close to us, encouraging, strengthening, whose love is constant, forgiving, and challenging. The sunshine of God shone through Christ to lift our lives out of the sorrow, pain, and despair which the world can bring.
I hope you all had a rewarding Easter. May we go forward with joy and renewed faith.
My mother used to make this simple recipe that is still one of my favorite ways to use leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs. This is also a good recipe for beginning cooks.
2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
2 Tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
4 hard-cooked eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
4 slices toast
Remove shell from eggs. Put yolks in a small bowl. Chop egg whites into a separate bowl. Melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan. Stir in the flour and let bubble for a minute. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens. Stir in chopped egg white and seasonings. Remove from stove and spoon creamed mixture over toast. Crumble one egg yolk over the top of each and serve. Makes four servings.