Today I celebrated the resurrection of Christ with my mother, father, brother and his family in their church. Over 1,100 people in attendance and it was an awesome experience, from the music to the sermon and even the after service events. As I looked over the crowd as I was leaving the sanctuary, I suddenly was taken back 41 years earlier. Easter, 1969. I would have been 8 years old and my brother Carl about 4. My youngest brother Gary was yet to have been born, but my mother would give birth to him that September. These two Easters really had nothing in common, other than it was Easter, and again I shared it with my brother and my parents. My father had worked for weeks on my brother and my easter suits, and after this picture was taken we would have gone to chruch somewhere, I am not sure where at that time, it may have been at the church I went as a teen, but not sure. I do not remember, but I do remember one thing.
It was the first Easter I realized that the man Jesus, that one we celebrated his birth at Christmas had died and on Easter rose from the dead. I must have heard it from the sermon that morning, but I remember at first thinking..."Wow, can that really happen?" then thinking that if he could do it, then maybe all of us could do it. We all would rise from the dead, and never die. I liked that idea.
It is funny how certain things bring back memories we have stored away deep into our minds and suddenly there they are again. It was like I was back in 1969, holding my little brother's hand and getting onto the church bus and being excited because when we got home there would be an Easter basket filled with eggs and candy. So innocent.
Here I was 41 years later, sitting in a church service, listening to a sermon very similar I am sure to that one I was listening to 41 years earlier. My brother sitting in the pew down from me. I almost wanted to reach over and take his hand hoping in a way we both could go back to that day.
Easter is a special day. A day for life. A day for living. Made possible by one that loved us so much that he died, so we could live to see today and to have lived all these years and have those precious memories.