Easter has a context. After all, Jesus was not merely resurrected, He was also crucified. And it is not only His death that brings us to God, it is also His life: His teaching and healing and welcoming and forgiving, even His birth among the poor people of an occupied land. We get to Easter only by journeying with Jesus; we get to Easter only through Lent.
During Lent, our sanctuary has been starkly unadorned. And on each Lenten Sunday, the children have looked around for a time-worn wooden box in which—back before Lent began—we “buried” a banner emblazoned with the word “Alleluia.” On Easter, that banner will join many alleluias sung and spoken in celebration of the Resurrection.
But we get to Easter only through Lent. And Lent culminates in Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, the children will lead us with palm fronds, and together we will tell the story of Jesus’ final earthly days. Then, Monday through Wednesday, April 10 – 12, the sanctuary will be open every evening from 6:00 to 8:00 for quiet contemplation; the Liturgical Arts Team is setting up Stations of the Cross as a guided devotional, and clergy will be available for prayer. On Thursday, April 13, we will gather at 7:00 pm for a simple Maundy Thursday service. And on Good Friday, we’re invited to worship with the congregation at Hillside Presbyterian.
Only then, after the bleak hush of Easter Saturday when Jesus was dead and in the tomb, only then do we get to the alleluias of Easter. The celebration begins in worship—both choirs will sing and our liturgical artists have special plans. Then, we’ll share celebratory refreshments in Jefferson Fellowship Hall, pose for a “family photo” on the front steps, and watch the children hunt eggs that we have all filled with goodies. What a blessing to experience Easter in the context of Oakhurst Presbyterian Church!