I drove the kids 1145 kilometers to spend a week at West Edmonton Mall with my family. It was worth every "I spilled my water bottle!" and "I dropped my crayons!" and "I'm still hungry!" and "He's touching me again!" along the way. It was worth the long days and late nights. It was worth braving the cold and snow instead of relishing the west coast warmth. The amusement park and the water park, mini golf and bowling, sea lions and penguins, good food and better desserts, and most of all time spent with loved ones, it was all worth it.
But I missed Holy Week.
I really missed it, missed observing it in an intentional and community-filled way. I thought of it, gave a brief nod to it as my eyes closed at the end of each full day, but it was little more than that and I felt its absence.
We returned late Saturday night and all any of us wanted was a quiet day at home. Still, I'd missed enough, so I forced myself out of bed and all of us out the door for a Resurrection Sunday service. It wasn't our church and it wasn't perfect, but it was us there, it was resurrection celebrated, and it was good for that reason alone. Christ is risen!
And then, just as we were settling on sushi for supper because being gone all week hadn't lent itself to being ready for a proper Easter dinner, we received an invitation for supper. Again, the wrestling between no, just some time to ourselves, please on the one hand and yes, Easter with cherished friends and new ones as well on the other, and again the latter won out. And it was Very Good.
Today, though, Easter Monday, we kept all to ourselves. We celebrated the risen Christ in ways both traditional and uniquely ours. Not the Easter bunny, we're stodgy like that, but egg hunts and gifts and games and desserts and Much Ado About This Which Is Everything. Yes, we celebrate it joyfully because it is the greatest hope we have, sin and death defeated! Praise God.
We celebrated with sunshine and Easter dresses and too much candy, and some of us didn't quite make it until bedtime.
It was a good beginning to the joyous season of Eastertide. And now the celebration continues!