I remember very few Easter dinners, probably because as a pastor I’m usually exhausted after four days of services, but there is one that stands out for me.
One year our friends Dave and Laura from Brooklyn joined us for dinner and after we were finished eating, our sons took the numbered eggs they had found amidst their candied-filled eggs out of their Easter baskets. These eggs were filled with symbols of the Passion (Christ’s suffering in his last days) and came with a handout of Scripture readings. We divided the eggs among those gathered around the table and we opened the eggs in order reading the corresponding passage.
After we had finished reading, Laura, who is an artist, took each of the symbols and lined them up across the middle of the table. It was such a simple act, but it took an artist to do it, and I remember looking upon those symbols and thinking how beautiful they were – these symbols of Christ’s death.
For those of you who made it to Palm/Passion Sunday service, that was the image and experience we sought to recreate by bringing up and laying before you and the altar the symbols of Christ’s passion. In looking upon the work of art created, we hope people experienced the deep, abiding sense that God is known most deeply and readily in places of brokenness; that God is hidden often in what might at first seem his opposite.
For those who took home your own collection of numbered eggs this week, maybe you can open them together with those gathered around your Easter dinner table, read the Scripture passages together, and be moved by the power, beauty, wisdom, and life that comes from this One who gave his life that we might have and live resurrected lives.
In doing that, you will be telling the story, spreading the good news without having to say anything – the symbols and words carry the meaning.