You know how – once you see something new – you can’t not see it in the future? Well, today is about that, in ways which may be new for you, too!
You see, our title phrase, for much of my life, has meant exactly that, on this day.
Easter. Jesus rose from the dead. Hallelujah!
And, yes, I know the stories. And all the words to the hymns. They matter, in so many ways.
Our traditions matter, too.
There are also other stories which matter. Ones I knew less well. Perhaps you knew them less well, too.
But, first… yesterday! I was doing what we preacher types have done on the Saturday before Easter for ages and ages. Makin’ the list and checkin’ it twice.
Weather. Food. Music. Flowers. And a story. Preferably a really catchy one. (There might be visitors!) Things, however, are a little different in my world, these days.
Gratitude for a new roof in the pouring rain… check!
Roses blooming/dripping in the garden… check! (And the merest hint of hydrangea blooms on the way… check!)
Local, sustainably raised chicken in the fridge, preparing to be roasted… check!
The need for a blog post… check! (Blog posts are stories, too!)
All of which led to a hike down memory lane. And that led to wandering through pictures in my phone.
I found the ones which were whispering to me in the 2018 part of the files. The girls were here for Easter. Baskets. Colored eggs. The not-quite-traditional-but-big-fun trip to the aquarium! Dearer memories, still, because they’ve been in Portugal for the last week!
For a few moments, I was going to share them all with you. And then I remembered that the focal points of those visual memories have reached their teen years (!) and like to have photo approval for publication!!!
I did find one I can share with a clean conscience! The one at the top.
It’s very early layers of my very first Muse painting and, it feels Easter-y to me in a way I never noticed before!
Probably because the context is different in these days!
I’m incredibly aware of the confluence of Holy Week and Passover and Ramadan this week. Of all the stories and traditions people dear to me are remembering.
And, I’m more aware than ever before, of the people who were somehow erased from the old stories I learned. Many of them women. And women’s voices. And now I do, indeed, know more!
So, yes… in my heart, He is Risen! means more. More than a sentimental lesson in historical vested interest. More than a way to decide who’s in and who’s out.
Here’s the best of my understanding…
Jesus of Nazareth – Yeshua – was crucified, dead, and buried. On the third day, he rose again. And he lives on – not on a cloud with pink cheeks and a shiny halo – but in the hearts of all who welcome him.
Caution… we’re about to go off script!
I believe he lives on in us so that we can learn more and love better and include more truth in our journeys. And I believe that now is a very good time for a whole lot of that.
One of the ways I’m still learning is through the practice of following a paint brush in my hand, the way the Muse taught me. (It helps a whole lot with the noticing and wondering, which helps even more with eyes to see and ears to hear new truth!)
Which is, I suspect, a very Easter-ish sort of thing!
There’s also Daphne, who was just fine with having her picture included in this story on this day!
It’s not my only prayer for the world. It is a pretty good start!
And one which I believe, with all my heart, is heard by all that I hold Holy.
So, Hallelujah! And, so be it. For all of us who hold love to be Holy, whatever our stories and traditions.
May we have ears to hear!
And breath to tell the stories!
ps… and, paint, too!
pps.. the kids did, indeed, make it home safely!