Thursday, 1 April 2010

The meaning of Easter


To the general public, Easter is a time when chocolate eggs and bunnies appear on the store shelves. While children participate in Easter egg hunts, adults prepare hams for Sunday lunch. Relatives come to visit, taking advantage of the three or four days off from work. Parents foolishly buy children live bunnies that invariably wind up in animal shelters or backyard hutches once the novelty wears off and the rabbits become an irksome chore. Churches traditionally observe Lent as well as Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Through over-familiarity with these activities, the real message of Easter is obscured.

In my Deliverance From Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School) memoir, I recorded my feelings and experiences of being five hundred miles from home for months at a stretch. During two of the three Easters that I was able to be home with my family, I cared little for the resurrection of Christ. It was just a tale that the supervisors and Sunday school teachers ordered me to believe. Being away from the concentration camp, as I thought of that institution, was the best thing about the holiday. When I gave my life to Christ at a Vacation Bible School in August of 1969, all those stories about Jesus gained a whole new dimension for me. Here's an excerpt from my memoir of how the truth of Easter changed my perspective on this holy day.

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Diane and I attended the Church Of the Nazarene's Easter Sunday service. Mom stayed home with Linda, saying that she did not feel like going. Roy was at Red Deer so at least I had a break from his juvenile questions. Now that I was a born-again Christian, the Easter message held special relevance. In years past, it was merely a story like all the others in the Bible. Now I understood the tremendous price Christ paid for purchasing our forgiveness as well as why he needed to die and rise again the third day. I believed in previous years that Pontius Pilate defeated him. Now I understood that Jesus died voluntarily for everybody and rose victoriously on the third day.

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Deliverance from Jericho contains many more vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. This 196-page paperback, containing 6 black and white photos, sells for $25.00 through the PayPal-equipped InScribe writers group website. E-mail me for further information or if you don't have PayPal but still wish to place an order.