I went to a local super-center today. We needed several things. I had part of the list and my husband had the other part and we went in opposite directions in order to shorten the time of the dreaded task. To see and navigate the crowd one would have thought it was a holiday. Carts were overflowing. Arms were full. The lines were long. The cashiers were flustered.
My husband found me in the Easter candy aisle. I was looking for something special. We walked from one end of the long aisle to the other, but I just shook my head. What I was looking for (chocolate truffle eggs) wasn’t to be found.
I stood in the aisle and stared.
The aisle was filled with color: petal pink, new green, robin egg blue and lemon yellow. There were ready-to-be-filled camouflage eggs and peanut butter eggs. There were bobble-headed bunnies and M&M’s© dressed as bunnies. There were foil covered ducks and chickens. Tie-dye egg dyeing kits (and eggs were a tad bit cheaper than normal). There were speckled malted milk eggs and jelly beans in every color and flavor (even buttered popcorn). There were displays in the middle of the floor with dozens and dozens of pre-made Easter baskets. If you were willing to pick out all your goodies a tired employee would fill the huge, transparent and hollow egg baskets for you. And the clothing finery was something to behold: tiny dresses with matching bows and little suits with clip-on ties.
Near the end of the aisle on the middle shelf something caught my eye. Two small boxes filled with sixteen to twenty smaller boxes of cheap chocolate crosses. The boxes were plain, generic and almost colorless. The crosses had been shuffled from their plastic indentations. And not one box was gone from its allotted slot.
I don’t have a bit of problem with hiding Easter eggs (actually I wish we could do it for the adults too). I enjoy the vast variety of chocolates. I adore all the wonderful colors and sweet whimsy. I will be delighted when I see our friends’ little ones in all their finery. And I, too, will don a new spring sweater in the morning.
But, this is not a holiday.
This is a celebration of a holy day.
A Holy Day.
Holy carries and envelopes a sense of being set-apart.
This is a shouting day for me.
This is a celebration because we don’t have to live in the agonized suffering and fearful despair of Friday.
This is a celebration because we don’t have to abide in the closed, rock-sealed guarded tomb of Saturday.
This is a celebration because we can enter the empty tomb and embrace the resurrection hope of Sunday.
Not just Jesus’ resurrection, but ours.
And this Holy Day will not be relegated and emaciated to cheap chocolate crosses and egg-laying bunnies.
Both offend me.
If these are my only options then I will choose neither.
Glory be to my God and Savior they are not!