The days leading to Easter...

Updated: Mar 10

The trappings of Easter feel much different this year, don't they?

Even though Spring has gotten all gussied up with her pretty frock of pastel colors, I'll miss seeing little girls twirling in the church parking lot just to see their new dresses whoosh about them in a gauzy blur.

Even though we'll be missing our special church services and typical family gatherings, the message is the same.

"He is risen"

He IS "the resurrection and the life." John 11:25

During this pandemic we feel the oppressive weight of collective loss, which keeps piling up in big and small ways.

We face on-going circumstances that stir up restlessness and uncertainties we've never faced before.

The news we've been watching for months keeps pressing in, getting more and more personal each day.

Some days it all seems manageable while other days slip by in a surreal fog of helplessness against an elusive foe.

As we attempt to navigate the ups and downs of all this turmoil, it's natural to look back at previous Easter seasons and acknowledge the striking differences to this one.

It's okay to be sad about what we're missing.

It's okay to be sad about who we're missing.

Yet it's also okay to try something new, to simplify the past traditions and refine our focus.

"He has RISEN!"

This was my first Easter page I did in my Bible Quilt Journal a few years ago. As I gathered up verses for this bright "Risen" page, I re-read the events leading up to the resurrection.

Those were some dark days.

Jesus tried to warn His disciples about the suffering He would endure. Yet it was so hard for them to grasp the reality of what was to come.

The heavy weight of this darkness had to come first, so that Jesus could shine the Light of God's love.

Sometimes it's still hard for us to wrap our minds around this gift - this incredible sacrifice that was for US. It gets more personal and personal each day as we grow in Him.

Yes, this year feels different.