This week I began setting out spring decorations by placing a porcelain bunny next to a flowering African violet on our kitchen table. Next week I’ll gather Easter treats for my grown kids, even though they rarely eat candy these days and it’s no surprise who fills their Easter baskets. Easter Sunday we will welcome kids and dogs, noise and activity-gathering as a family to cook a large meal, tell stories, relax, and visit with friends who will drop by to see the Klope kids who ventured home for the holiday.
This Lenten season I’ve listened to and studied Handel’s Messiah in an effort to personally respond to the accounting of Christ’s life, death and the messages of resurrection. Hoping for greater insight, I have also read in the book of John. Penned by the Apostle John, son of Zebedee and brother of James sometime between A.D. 85 and 90, the book provides a personal and powerful account of Jesus through the eyes of this devoted follower.
It is his description of the final moments Jesus hung on the cross that have colored my view of Easter, 2013 and here’s why. John records that when Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing together, there at the foot of the cross where He hung, He understood their trauma, sense of loss, and need for mutual support. He said to his mother, “Here is your son,” referring to the disciple standing beside her. To the nearby disciple He commented, “And here is your mother.”
It is recorded that from that time on, this disciple took Mary into his home, where they served each other as mother and son.
Think for a moment about Christ’s words and the time they were uttered. He had been tortured and humiliated for hours. Death was near. Yet, Christ spoke words that reflected His compassion, concern, and desire to comfort others -- the very things each one of us need from time to time in our lives.
Rather than getting bent out of shape about homemade rolls that won’t rise or the socially awkward relative sitting across the table from you, I think it’s about time we challenge our attitudes and focus on areas where we can make a difference. It’s time we test our own capacities to reach out and care for those around us — in spite of how we may be feeling at the time. It is possible and worthy to step beyond our piles of laundry, that frustration with a boss, our worries about an aging parent, that car payment, the child that won’t pick clothes off his bedroom floor, and the neighbor who complains about your pet. It’s time to find creative and meaningful ways to demonstrate love and care for those who would like to be cared for this Easter.
So dye those perfectly cooked eggs. Then give them to someone who needs to be cheered. Call a relative and express your love. Hug the child who sometimes resists your touch. Seek others out of your gratitude for the great love of God.
Joan Bay Klope can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.