He Is Risen!

What I Want You To Know About Jesus, #5

Vol. 19 No. 16 | April 15, 2017

My most vivid childhood memory of Easter involves polishing my shoes. Yes, you read that correctly. Polishing shoes was our Easter ritual that I now realize was a clever way to implement tradition. To me, there was no rhyme or reason to it, but it did serve as an effective way for our parents to get us to shine our shoes on Easter morning. 

The understanding in our house was that if you wanted Easter candy on Easter morning, your shoes had to be cleaned, polished, shined and placed outside your bedroom door. With shoes cleaned and shined, we would go to bed, then on Easter morning we would find our shined shoes miraculously filled with Easter candy, along with a basket full of eggs and more candy. I eventually discovered that the Easter Bunny was just as much of a night owl as Santa was. But none of this mattered, as long as I had an adequate supply of those white, cream-covered eggs with pink, yellow, blue, and green sugar. Such a healthy snack to start off our Sunday morning!

The second most vivid memory of my childhood Easters was dying the Easter eggs. Usually on the Saturday before, the eggs would be boiled and tablets of dye would be dropped into heated vinegar. Next, the boiled eggs would be placed on a copper wire with a circle designed specifically to hold one egg at a time. The egg would be dipped into the dye and an amazing transformation would take place. Those plain white eggs became various shades of red, blue, green, yellow, and pink. Some of them came out of the dye with unique designs that we would create with a wax crayon. After the color transformation, the eggs, still wet with warm vinegar, would be placed on newspaper spread out on the kitchen table to dry. I can still here my mom’s warnings: “Don’t touch them! You’ll mess them up! You have to let them dry!”

And so, adequately jacked up on sugar, off we would go to church- dressed in our best (and only) pair of black pants, white shirts, black ties, and beautifully polished shoes- soon to join all the ladies and little girls dressed in their Sunday best, wearing their pretty hats and new fancy dresses.

I suppose the preacher spoke about the Resurrection, but I most likely missed it, falling asleep right about the time he started. But I assure you I woke up in time for the Easter Egg hunt that followed. That I would not miss. 

Eventually I outgrew those traditions. Well, most of them. I still try to make sure my shoes are in pretty good shape, and I now prefer the Reece’s Peanut Butter bunnies instead of the colorful sugar-coated eggs. I also eventually came to understand that the miracle of Easter was not about candy mysteriously showing up in my shoes, or eggs changing color right before my eyes.  Easter was about a Savior who had died and been buried, and then rose again from His grave.

The miracle is about the followers of Jesus who watched him suffer pain and humiliation, who witnessed the afflictions of his wounds and declaration of his death, who saw him conquer death and rise again. Hope restored.

I now understand that an Easter Sunrise means more than hunting eggs and wearing my best clothes. It means that the time of darkness has passed and the Light has returned. It means that the hope that had been lost has now returned. It means that although we go through times of waiting and confusion, even despair, because of that empty tomb, hope is restored. 

He is risen! He is risen indeed!


A Norvell Note © Copyright 2017. Tom Norvell All Rights Reserved.