The other day Ruth was watching TV and saw some commercial that related to Easter…eggs hidden around the hard, decorations, special foods…the works…Martha Stewart style. And she asked, “Mom, when we get to our new house*, could we celebrate Easter?”
I paused a minute (generally one to be overly pragmatic and think things like “no, we celebrate Easter at Easter time not in July”) and then I said “Yes, of course we can.” After all, Easter isn’t really about some designated Sunday during the year. Easter is about resurrection, life after death, new beginnings, second chances, forgiveness of sins, and the blessings of God’s grace. And, quite frankly, after a year full of “stuff” (including death of various types, endings, hurt feelings, and dark places) we are in need of a whole lot of Easter.
As I thought about it further, I thought it could be a really cool way to begin in a new place. We could spend a couple weeks unpacking and hopefully getting to know some people (from the church, or otherwise) and then maybe have an Easter party. It’d be a fun “open house” and a nice way to show Ruth, others, and remind ourselves that the celebration of Easter can happen at any time of year.
Who knows, it might even become a tradition for every time we move into a new appointment…a reminder of God’s grace, a chance to mourn the endings (for better or for worse) and to look forward to the new life and new beginnings God is offering in a new place of ministry.
I’m surprisingly excited about the idea and looking forward to the ways we might do this in a new place and a new season of our lives and ministries.
*It’s appointment season in the UMC and clergy all over are waiting to hear if and where they will be moving, or if they will be staying, this year. While we don’t yet know where, we do know for fact we will be moving.