I believe in miracles. When I say the word miracle the thought that comes to mind first is a big life changing happening such as what we Christians celebrate on Easter Sunday with Jesus resurrection.
As Holy Week for Christians is being celebrated I ponder what we believe today. When I was a child it was easier for me to believe in the miracle of Easter and miracles in real life. Although as a child I can’t name one miracle I believe happened. Again–think big–life changing–someone coming alive again–miracle thoughts. But I still believed they could happen. I didn’t have anyone anywhere proving to me miracles couldn’t happen. I had faith as a small child does.
Lent and Holy Week as a child still have impact. I knew what Lent, Holy Week and Easter was, and I held it in reverence. There was no debate on whether I would attend the Stations of the Cross and Holy Week services. Even though I protested the length of the Saturday Evening services, which went on for hours, I had to attend the service.
Good Friday afternoons was also a given for services with stores closing for two hours so churches could hold Good Friday services. There was nowhere to go during that time so you went to church. At home we also made Lent a special time and I had no doubt what Easter meant and yes, I had Easter eggs and Easter bunnies but the main focus was on the religious part of the holiday.
These practices remained with me through most of my adult life but this year I feel them failing. I haven’t attended religious services as much as I usually do. Wednesday evening Lenten Services were missed. The outside world intruded on my life, not for any good reason but the fact I let it. In the world we live in my Christian holiday practices are not front and center and it makes it harder to stay true to the things I was taught so many years ago. I must say I feel Easter this year has almost become just a blip on my radar and I don’t like feeling that way.
As I ponder my reaction this year I look around me and wonder what is going to happen years down the road. Will the religious holiday of Easter disappear from our lives? I look around at children and even my grandchildren, and wonder if they truly know anymore the meaning of the reason we celebrate Holy Week and Easter Sunday. Even though children are being raised in the churches, is the little time they now spend in church going to make an impact on their lives?
It used to be communities made accommodations for people to practice their religion. Communities adjusted their schedule for the churches. Now the churches adjust their schedule for the communities so people will come to church. Sunday School and activities adjust to shorter times to accommodate sports schedules and more. If churches didn’t adjust schedules, would anyone attend? Yes we have more diversity in religions but I suspect all religions might be having the same problem.
And so we are back to the question–will Easter eventually just fade away? Will the miracle at the tomb no longer be remembered? Since that was one of the first miracles I was awed by as a child, will my and others beliefs be changed, especially when it comes to miracles? If my recognition of Easter changed this year because of society’s influence on me will my recognition and belief in miracles be changed too? Has it already? I have never seen someone be raised from the dead. Is that perhaps why my celebration of Easter has fell by the way side? Is it too hard to believe the story of Easter? Is it too easy to get mired down by the rhetoric of the politicians, the hate groups, the naysayers and so our belief’s crumble from what we believed as a child. Or if those beliefs were never there or never taught then why would we believe the story about crucifixion and resurrection?
I will tell you why I believe in miracles. I pray for a friend to be healed from a twenty-two year battle with cancer. I ask for a miracle of healing and my friend tells me she already has many miracles because she is still here and still fighting. She has lived to see her grandchildren. She feels she has had her miracle even if she is not healed.
A baby of a relative is born early and has many health problems. The parents consider it a miracle that the doctors were able to save him and he will live a good life. The doctors and modern medicine being brought into their life were their miracle.
I see my Christmas Cactus grow and flower and I see a miracle because I haven’t killed it yet. I see miracles every day. They may not be the earth shattering miracles that we expect but they are in itself a miracle. Had I not been brought up to hear the Easter Story, the way I look at things might be different. Our journey starts with the impressions of our childhood. Will the Easter Story be part of the childhood of the children of today?