Yesterday was possibly the strangest Easter I’ve ever had.
My husband is in China and three out of four of my children were in all in their respective places around the globe.
My extended family is two states away.
Even my local daughter ended up being called into work at the last minute.
Sitting in an Easter service alone was unfamiliar territory and something I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to. Celebrations like these were meant to be spent with loved ones.
Reluctantly, I put on the boots of sheer determination and headed off to church by myself.
As soon as I got out of the car, it was more obvious than ever that this Holiday was meant for family units.
All around me were babies and children decked out in their beautiful Easter outfits, husbands and wives talking about their brunch plans and grandparents snapping pictures of the whole scene.
Entire rows of seats were saved for these celebrating families.
It was the perfect set up for a lonely day.
Uncharacteristically, I sat in the very last seat of the auditorium, an inconspicuous and solo worshiper who longed for her family to be sitting next to her.
But as the music started, every word reminding me of the outrageous significance of the day, the tears that rolled down my face had nothing to do with the fact that I was alone.
The emotion that welled up inside of me was surprising, even to me. Having celebrated this day for more than half a century, I wondered what preempted this gut response that seemed to come out of nowhere.
And then it hit me.
The power of the Resurrection, the story of New Life and Transformation, of the Dead coming to Life and an Empty Grave were more than just familiar truths from scripture to me this year.
This past year I have seen that Power.
That same Power that raised Jesus from the dead has produced similar miracles in my life and the lives of those I know and love this past year.
– This year marked the privilege of seeing a dying woman come to living faith before she drew her last breath on this planet. Jesus’ resurrection was the only way any of that was possible.
– The past 12 months gave way to transformed lives around me. The graves of addiction emptied by the exit of those experiencing New Life made possible by the Power of Another who left an empty tomb.
– Three hundred and sixty five days culminated in the Death of My Fear and the Birth of New Hope. All because Someone died for that very purpose.
– The span of 52 weeks allowed me the honor of seeing the Easter story shared in a foreign land with people who have never heard it before. A poignant visual of the poor and broken and lost that Jesus came to touch and heal and save.
– Since last year’s celebration of this Holy Day, miracles in the lives of friends and family have taken my breath away. Miracles without human explanations. Miracles that could only be realities because of the Power of the Cross and the Glory of abandoned Grave Clothes.
This past year I got to experience the Resurrection in the most personal and real-life-practical of ways.
And so, in the most unlikely of circumstances, in the solitude of the last seat in the back row,
my strange little Easter ended up being probably one of my most memorable.
Just me and Jesus behind the crowd. All alone. Sharing the wonder of that Resurrection Power that has presented itself over the course of the past 525,600 minutes of my life.
The shameless tears that fell were full of the immense gratitude that comes from a life impacted by a Life given.
How have you experienced that Power?
Can you look back at this past year and see specific times and events that wouldn’t have been possible without the magnificence of the Easter reality?
If you know Jesus, that kind of power is available in your life. That death-to-life power that changes things from the inside out.
He is still in the business of miracles.
He empties graves every day.
And the result is a Life forever changed….
Philippians 3:10 – I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead.
Romans 8:11 – And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
Acts 1:8 – But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.