A Joyous Easter to All
It was on Easter Sunday and all in the morning
Our Savior arose and our Heavenly King
The sun and the moon they did both rise with Him
And sweet Jesus we’ll call him by name.
(This is the last verse of an English carol that starts with “It was on Christmas Day….”)
I love the image of the sun and the moon rising with Jesus.
Here are the lectionary readings for Easter day:
Psalm 118: 1-2, 14-24
Yes to the new creation! Yes to Christ is Risen! Yes to all that I do not understand about this new beginning! Alleluia!
This year I am neither exhausted nor “sooo ready for Lent and Easter to be over.” What is different from past Lents was not bingeing on a multitude of spiritual practices. Lent is a time to go down, go deeper, and go spelunking into the dark and unexplored caves of the heart. I misread this as an invitation to gather up a overlarge slew of spiritual tools and start digging: give up something, take on something, read more, pray more, blog more, meditate on my shortcomings, exercise more, snack less, be kind, do a complete makeover in 40-some days….
A week into this overzealous archaeological expedition, I know I have overpacked; so many tools are a burden. But I trudge on with grouchiness and guilt added to the load. Self-shaming and trash talk about my spiritual inadequacy make me the center of all this exploring. I forget that the inner work is not primarily about me, but about connecting with Jesus. I’m not sure why I overload during Lent. I don’t know if I try to out-holy my efforts from the year before. But with uncharacteristic kindness towards myself, I think it’s more basic than that. I am hungry, really hungry for a deeper and more loving relationship with God, other people, and myself. Bingeing and hoarding on spiritual practices seems like the logical, if misguided, way to get what I need.
Thanks to a three-week cough right before this Lent, I did not have the energy for rounding up as many tools as usual. I picked one calendar template and one devotional to use with it. With his book Lent for Everyone: Luke, Year C: A Daily Devotional, New Testament scholar and retired Anglican Bishop N.T. Wright was a terrific guide for my Lenten exploration. Each day Wright offers a passage from Luke, a reflection, and a prayer. I chose one word from the daily reading, wrote it on the calendar, thought about it, doodled around it, and listened to it. The practice felt spacious and satisfying rather than burdensome. And I was not alone. Luke, N.T. Wright, and Jesus were there with me. That one simple word became my manna for the day. Not too much, not too little. Food and Enough.
Finished Lent Calendar decorated with flowers and veggie from Memphis Farmers Market and yard flowers and herbs.
Words from the daily meditations by Walter Brueggemann in his book: A Way Other Than Our Own: Devotions for Lent
Happy Easter! I plan to say that phrase until Pentecost on May 24.
Just in case you are still looking for a daily discipline of prayer and doodling after the forty days of Lent, here is a template for an Easter calendar. Starting with Easter there are 49 shapes. The 50th day is Pentecost which is indicated by the arrows. Add flame, fireworks, tongues,…whatever indicates to you the pouring out of the Holy Spirit. The spaces on the calendar are small but you can expand the calendar to an 11×17 sheet of paper for more room.
Here are some things to do as you doodle on your Easter Calendar.
Here is my finished calendar for this Lent. I used no words, just drew crosses everyday. It was a wordless Lent in terms of the calendar and I didn’t miss them. But as usual I wish I could take back some words I said and said some words I didn’t say during the 40 days. Happy Easter to all! Christ is risen; hallelujah! And it’s okay to say that for the next 49 days of the Easter season–and even longer when you need to remember.
“Hallelujah, Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed!”
Children in the church I attend bring flowers on Easter Sunday and cover a box-shaped or palm-frond cross with colorful blossoms.The children participate in the transformation of the cross from a tool of hatred to a symbol of victory and love.
My friend Connie gave me the stencils (by Pebbles) I used to draw the flowers. She incorporates stencils as part of the way she prays in color. For the art-challenged like I am, this can be a non-threatening way to get started.