An Early Easter Message

As an Eastern Orthodox, it’s not Easter yet. But there’s still something to celebrate.

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Posted in , Mar 25, 2016

An early Easter message from an Eastern Orthodox.

Today’s Good Friday, but I’ve only just started Lent. As you might remember, I’m Eastern Orthodox, so my church follows a slightly different calendar. We don’t celebrate Easter until after Passover, which falls on May 1 this year. The end of Lent never seemed so far away…candy, my dear friend, oh how I’ve missed you so!

Even though it’s technically not my Easter this Sunday, I’ve still experienced some moments of wonder during this Holy Week and season. Like two weeks ago, when I received a beautiful cross made out of palm leaves and ribbons from my good friend, Gladys. I wanted to make her a cross in return, but I figured it’d have to wait until the end of April when I had access to palms from my church (even then, my cross would be of a much simpler variety!).

This past Sunday, though, my sister convinced me to attend a different church with her in New York City. I hadn’t planned on going, but suddenly I found myself celebrating Palm Sunday with a friendly group of Presbyterians! We enjoyed a great sermon about Jesus’ special love for those in need. Afterwards, I hoped to find some palms at the church so I could make Gladys a cross. Only there were none to be found.

On Monday morning, though, I walked into the weekly Guideposts prayer fellowship meeting and was stunned to find, yup, palms! Strewn across the table in all their glory like they were waiting for me. Stephanie Samoy, Guideposts Books managing editor, had brought them in for the office. Perfect timing!

The next day, armed with my batch of palms, I set out to make a miniature cross for Gladys. I probably shouldn’t have waited so long to make it. The leaves were a bit brittle, dull in color. As I weaved them together, trying to make them perfect, and failing, the pastor’s message from Palm Sunday hit me again. How God loves us at our neediest, despite our imperfections.

I set aside a cross for Gladys, and made a few more crosses from the remaining leaves. I handed them out to some of my prayer fellowship buddies, who are celebrating Easter this weekend. They were all so delighted. I couldn’t help but feel a wonderful sense of connection with them.

No, it’s not my Easter. Not yet. But we’re all God’s children, flaws and all. And that’s always something to celebrate.

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