The Easter morning story from 2,000 years ago finds some of Jesus’ closest friends in a cemetery, while others were behind locked doors, sheltering in. Each one was unglued. Unsettled. Distraught. Some were hiding. Some moved on autopilot, bringing spices for Jesus’ dead body. All were about to be undone.
Hope happens here, in the darkest places.
How are you going to make this the best Easter celebration of your life? Buildings don’t define Easter; the body of Jesus Christ, nail scared and ALIVE defines our joy and defies our despair.
Start planning now. Don’t allow your soul to shelter in.
Might it include balloons? Fireworks. Yard decorations. A day of music. Gifts to neighbors. Or a quiet, personal celebration that feeds your soul?
Let’s follow Mary’s lead. Whether in your car or in your heart, visit a cemetery on Easter Sunday and there declare that Jesus is alive.
For years, I have watched the sunrise at a cemetery eight miles from our home. I go rain, shine, and snow.
My yearly visit to this cemetery is a simple, sacred declaration and celebration. I find my favorite spot, get out of my car, settle in, and survey my surroundings. I imagine Mary’s morning – her grief, the smell of the spices, the cool of the pre-dawn air, her aching heart. I become aware of my own aching heart. I read Matthew 28:1-10 out-loud and then begin to sing. I join the chorus of the birds. The foolishness I feel at first, gives way to a heart bursting with joy.
As my time draws to a close, I go back to my car to warm up and head home, or I stay outside longer, read Luke 24:13-49, and walk the cemetery humming Jesus Christ is Risen Today.
I spent Easter 2014 with my son, Joseph (16), at a hospital three hours from our home. We were four weeks into a seven-week stay. I didn’t make it to a cemetery that morning, but I felt like I was living in one. Those were difficult days. Late Saturday night, Joseph, asleep and finally out of pain, I asked the nurse for paper, markers, and crayons. Early in the morning, before the sun was up, I taped my Easter declaration to the outside of our hospital room door.
Buildings don’t define our Easter celebration. The body of Jesus Christ, nail scared and ALIVE defines our joy and defies our despair. Hope happens here.
This Easter, an Easter we will never forget, declare the glory of God and set your heart on fire.
A 2020 Easter Morning Cemetery Celebration
- Visit a cemetery and find a quiet spot that feels right, maybe even check it out ahead of time, on Good Friday as a way to prepare your heart.
- Go – anytime on Easter day. Go alone or bring a friend, but keep your distance.
- Settle in and imagine Mary’s early morning walk to Jesus’ tomb
- Read Matthew 28:1-10 out-loud or in a whisper
- Sing, hum, whisper, or shout your favorite Easter songs
- Read Luke 24:13-49
- Then wander and wonder as the Spirit leads
- Head back home with your heart on fire
Brenda’s Favorite Songs
I find myself singing the songs of my childhood.
- Jesus Christ is Risen Today
- I Know That My Redeemer Lives
- What a Friend We have in Jesus
- This is the Feast of Victory (This is a lesser known song, but it brings me to tears every time.)