Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter in the Garden

Yesterday was Easter and in contrast to many believers who spent the morning in their respective churches, I spent mine in a quiet, lovely garden here on the farm. The garden was created some decades ago when the original owners lived here and is filled with plants from a bygone era...boxwood,spirea, lilacs, dogwood, viburnum, many blooming cheerfully on this bright and sunny Easter morning.

This year, as I do every Easter, I wondered about how and why most Easter Sunday services have evolved into that which characterizes our modern day celebrations. Why is there so much pomp and loudness and so little time for quiet reflection and simple gratitude? Why must they be so noisy? While I am sure that many believers appreciate the grand music and air of joyous celebration that fill their congregations on Easter morning, I have found that I appreciate just the opposite and so I went to the garden.

I sat in stillness and prayed and read the Gospel resurrection accounts. I sang some of my favorite hymns and Easter songs, accompanied by mockingbirds and brown thrashers and by the rustling of wind in the trees. I looked out over the landscape, man made and wild, and felt the Creators presence all around me. And I thought of the women long ago who ran to the garden where Jesus was buried and what they must have felt on that long ago morning. I mused about how I would have felt and reacted had I been among them.

Today is another bright and sunny morning. The wind is moving the tree tops and those same mockingbirds and thrashers are singing their songs of the new day. I am grateful to look out on the same landscape in which I sat in quiet reverence yesterday and be reminded of my own Easter vigil. I'm grateful for the continuity of daily fellowship with God and His land and creatures. I am especially grateful that "in the rustling grass I hear Him pass. He speaks to me everywhere," and for His willingness to do so.

Happy Easter, everyone.