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“eASTER: a tRANSFORMATIVE gIFT”

Dear Friends,

I’m sure many of you have a favorite Easter memory.  For some of you it may have been getting into your Sunday best as a child (little Easter dresses and little Easter suits are adorable!).  For others it may have been an Easter dinner or egg hunt or other tradition.

I came into Alex’s life when he was around six years old.  So, I only had a couple of years of hiding Easter eggs around the house after he went to bed the night before.  But, I have to admit, watching him tear around the house finding eggs was a joy.  Coincidently, my own personal favorite Easter memory happened when I was around that same age.  It was Easter of 1978.  I had just turned seven.  I didn’t always receive gifts on Easter, but that year I received a gift that helped shape the rest of my childhood. 

That Easter morning of 1978, I received the first two action figures I ever owned: Han Solo and Luke Skywalker.

Star Wars had hit the theaters the summer before and I had already forced my parents to take me to the theater to see it many times over.  They didn’t put up much of a fight, they became fans of the movie, too.  But, for me, Star Wars wasn’t simply a movie of which I was a fan, it was a phenomenon with which I was obsessed.  From that Easter, well into my teenage years, all I wanted was Star Wars stuff.  If Yoda’s, Darth Vader’s or Chewbacca’s face was on it, I wanted it.  If it didn’t have the Star Wars logo on it, I typically didn’t play with it.

I still love Star Wars, though my obsession has certainly waned to a more healthy level of fandom. However, I appreciate the gift of that Easter morning in 1978 in a very different manner.  God gives us gifts all the time.  Sometimes we appreciate them, sometimes we don’t.  Sometimes they don’t appear to be a gift at all when we first receive them and it’s only over time we truly recognize them as gifts at all.

But, sometimes gifts come along that change the course of our lives.  Sometimes gifts transform us. Sometimes gifts almost feel like mini-“resurrections.”  Those two action figures may have been cheap insignificant chunks of plastic, but to my seven year old eyes, they were golden.  And, forty years later, I still remember the joy I experienced when my mother gave them to me in my grandmother’s living room.  It may seem silly, but those toys brought new life to me.

The gift of Easter morning, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, is a gift that we get to reopen every day.  Every year, we set aside a day to commemorate the defining event of our faith.  But, the resurrection is a gift we get to open every day.  Some days we appreciate it.  Some days it is only a passing thought at best.  But, the resurrection of Easter is and always shall be a life changing gift.

The resurrection may have first changed your life when you were seven or seventy seven.  It is different for all us when the resurrection is first fully appreciated.  But, even if you opened that gift seventy years ago, and you were transformed way back then, you can still reopen that gift, roll the stone away from the tomb, and be transformed again.

What a blessing!  What a gift!  He is Risen!  He is Risen Indeed!

Resurrection Blessings to You All!

Pastor Pat