The Promise of Easter

by Beverly Hutchinson McNeff

A teacher stood before her second-grade Sunday school class and asked, “Who knows what Easter is about?” As the children’s puzzled faces stared back at the teacher, one small hand darted up. “Yes, Pedro?” responded the teacher.

“It’s when everyone gets together and eats a turkey and celebrates coming to America,” he said with surety.

“No, that’s Thanksgiving, not Easter,” said the teacher.

“I know! I know!” said Leticia, stretching her arm high into the sky. The teacher nodded for her to answer. “It’s where you put a tree in the front room, decorate it, and give each other gifts.”

Again, a “no” from the teacher.

The children sat silently when Marcus raised his hand and said, “It’s when Jesus was killed and put into a cave with a stone in front of it, and…”

The teacher thought, now we’re on the right track!

“…and, then everyone waits for Jesus to come out of the cave to find out if he sees his shadow!”

Most of us have a little better idea of what Easter is, but have we really grasped the promise of this holy time? In A Course in Miracles, we read,

“Easter is the sign of peace, not pain. A slain Christ has no meaning. But a risen Christ becomes the symbol of the Son of God’s forgiveness on himself; the sign he looks upon himself as healed and whole.” (T-20.I.1)

God has promised us resurrection, the awakening of the truth of who we are as His Children. Let us help in this awakening by not dwelling on the pain in our lives but on the promise. Let us look on our lives and the lives of our brothers as forgiven, healed, and whole as we undertake the Easter journey together:

“…this holy week is the symbol of the whole journey the Son of God has undertaken. He started with the sign of victory, the promise of the resurrection, already given him. Let him not wander into the temptation of crucifixion, and delay him there. Help him to go in peace beyond it, with the light of his own innocence lighting his way to his redemption and release. Hold him not back with thorns and nails when his redemption is so near. But let the whiteness of your shining gift of lilies speed him on his way to resurrection…” (T-20.I.3)

Offer each other “the gift of lilies, not the crown of thorns; the gift of love and not the ‘gift’ of fear…for Easter is the time of your salvation.” (T-20.I.2,4) So again, we are promised that “victory” over the pain and suffering in our lives is accomplished, and that we have been resurrected in God’s love. We are reminded that the only way to experience this truth in our lives is by the “gifts” we offer to one another. “Offer him thorns and you are crucified. Offer him lilies and it is yourself you free.” (T-20.II.3)

Let this Easter be the beginning of a new you! It is never too late to replace thorns with lillies; it is never too late to choose love; it is never too late for you to experience the miracles you are entitled to!

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