Holy Days

Easter 1980

On Saturday night, we went to the Kappa Alpha Theta pledge dance. It was the weekend to Spring Ahead and we were 19 and 20, and staying up all night didn’t seem like a big thing. Half-a-dozen of us went to an Easter Sunrise service in the woods; the setting was more King Arthur than Jesus Christ as I remember it–misty, with a gradual increase of ambient light rather than the inbreaking of sunshine.

After the service, we caravaned to HoJo’s for breakfast. Ah, HoJo’s. This group of friends would eventually know each other very well (two of them would marry), but on that Easter morning we were still pretty new in our connnections.

Rob was from the Philadelphia suburbs. During breakfast he said, “At my church this morning, someone will stand up and mention that it’s Easter. Then someone else will stand up and say he really shouldn’t have mentioned it.”

That sounded so odd to me at the time. I asked him why? He told us about his little church, a group that broke off from the Quakers more than a century earlier, still operating with lay leadership and waiting for men who were moved to speak to do so. If no one felt moved, they would sit quietly together, then go home. All odd, to my mind.

But as we sit here in the middle of Holy Week, I find myself drawn back to his story. It’s a mistake to limit our cries of “Christ is Risen” to one day of the year. Christ is always around us, and Christ is certainly living. And how we live our lives in that knowledge must be different than living with a memory acknowledged one morning of the year.