READY: Looking back on Easter week

Staff Writer
The Destin Log

For orthodox Christians, Easter comes tomorrow (the 12th), and for Jews, today is the last day of Passover. So, the first weeks of April are holy days for people of faith.

For others, the bunny rabbits, goodie baskets, and dyed eggs are already a fading memory, and the new Easter outfits are hung in the closet. Life goes back to “normal” until the next celebration of something. May brings Mother’s day on the 10th, and Memorial Day on the 25th. For some, the days in between commercial holidays are vaguely boring.

According to actual research by social scientists, April 11, 1954, has been declared the most boring, uneventful, and ordinary day in the history of the world. No catastrophic weather event, no one of significance was born or died, no war was going on, no terrorist bombing, no political assassination, etc.

By contrast, the moon landing on July 20, 1969, has been touted as the most momentous day of the 20th century.

But what of the most significant, eventful, turning- point day in human history? Do the historians know that exact date? Biblical scholar James Akin confidently concludes it was April 3, A.D. 33, and the climax of the day came at 3:00 p.m.

I’m not saying Akin is right or wrong, but in pondering that time frame, I am divided between two days: Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, both occurring over 2,000 years ago. For me, they are actually two glorious halves of the same GREAT DAY that brought salvation to the world.

As I have each year, I joined others of the Church of Destin for the Cross Walk on Good Friday. By saying, “the Church of Destin,” I mean the fellowship of Christian churches across our city, not a brick and mortar building with (or without) a steeple on top.

 Walking the fourteen Stations of the Cross with those who are my spiritual brothers and sisters, my thoughts were focused on the events of that day so many years ago. His prayers in Gethsemane, His betrayal and arrest, Peter’s denial, His trial, His crucifixion, and His burial in the tomb. At each station, a scripture was read, presenting in order the events of that dark day. Prayers also accompanied each stop along the walk.

In its fourth year, the annual crosswalk in Destin reminds participants of Jesus’ journey to Golgotha to offer up His life. Walking along Airport Road, one can imagine as cars pass by, horns blare, an ambulance goes by, and airplanes fly over the scene that His walk took place among the roaring shouts and taunts of on-lookers, making their own kind of cacophony.

This year, participants were given a program to follow with the scriptures printed for each station. I really appreciated that as I don’t always hear the speaker. Thank you to the dear soul who created and printed them.

Thank you also, Officer McCoy, who was our escort, for keeping everyone safe.

May the number of crosswalkers increase with each Good Friday in the years ahead. It’s a blessing I look forward to, and in April 2016, I’ll be there again, Lord willing.

Easter Sunday service at my church drew an over-flow crowd. And it wasn’t just the Christmas and Easter Christians either. The parking lot was full of out of state tags with spring breakers and vacationing families coming to share in the good news of Resurrection Day.

Pastor Calderazzo proposed an intriguing thought had there been a Sunday edition of the Jerusalem Times Newspaper on that first Easter day. The editor would have two choices for a headline:

“The tomb is empty, Jesus is risen” or  “The tomb is empty, Jesus’ body stolen”

I’m thankful for churches across Destin who preach the first headline.

Perhaps, in your church last Sunday, you sang “Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia. Sons of men and angels say, ‘Alleluia!’” If you believe in the message of that hymn, then you have a faith that embraces the true meaning of Easter.

But for those who doubt or say it doesn’t matter whether He rose up from the grave, perhaps they sing a different version, one suggested by my pastor:

“Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia/ And if He isn’t we’re still Okay!”

If that song be sung, then Easter is pointless, and it’s just another holiday in spring. 

These are the Easter reflections that remain with me long after the memory of egg hunts and chocolate bunnies dwindle away with the coming of summer and other celebrations replacing Easter on the calendar.

Mary Ready of Destin is a twice-retired English teacher and long-time area resident. Her columns are published on Saturdays.