New questions we have fielded this Easter:
Those crosses that we saw, stacked on the roof of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, what were they? Oh, people carry them to walk on the same path Jesus took on Good Friday?
When he walked up Via Dolorosa, right?
And then that place in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, that we knelt, and touched the rock… that was where the cross went? Into that rock? That’s where he was crucified? Why?
And then that place we stood in line for, that we lit candles beside, that is the tomb where he was buried? Where they found linen cloths on Easter, but no body? Is that where he went to heaven from?
So many questions, so many memories, so many new points of relationship.
This holiday has changed in character and flavor, for all of us, since our December trip to Jerusalem. Both Grace and Whit noticed how many times Jerusalem, and Israel, were mentioned in church this morning. Unrelated to that trip but nevertheless contributing to my emotions yesterday is that I had never fully appreciated the importance of the fact that both of them were christened the Saturday before Easter.
Easter, which was always my mother’s mother’s favorite day, has grown to carry enormous importance for me, too. I have not been aware of it as it happened, but today, in church, it was clear. Tears rolled down my face as our minister mentioned the babies he had welcomed to the church the day before, on the eve of the holiest and most joyous day of the Christian calendar. I looked at Grace and Whit, so tall and angular now, and flashed back to when they were babies, wearing my family’s generations-old white christening gown, hoisted above the font.
It is the day of rebirth and of resurrection. The day that my faith in the vast design is strengthened, the day I can imagine the universe as a soft net, ready to catch me when I stumble. It is the day that I now experience in a far more nuanced way, for many reasons.
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