Before I was a pastor I worked for the Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Company out of Oklahoma City.
The job was great because I got to talk and connect with people everyday (something that I love doing).
What I didn’t love was filling the same shelves with the same product everyday. For example, a typical shelf holds 6-8 rows of Coca-Cola 2-liters about 5 bottles deep. Every morning, I would go to the back of the store, stack however many bottles I needed to fill the shelf onto a pallet and then pull that pallet out to the shelf and fill the 2-liter shelf. I had done the same thing the day before… and the day before that… and the day before that… well, you get the picture. It was the same thing over and over and over again. A daily tradition. A daily routine.
Traditions are weird for me (at least they used to be). I am a guy who loves variety. Doing the same thing over and over again is boring. Filling the shelf day in and day out, week in and week out got old. Christmas time? Same story, just a different year. Easter holiday? Same story, same events, just a different year.
I said traditions “used to be” weird is because now that I have children everything has changed!
While the Christmas “tradition” had gotten old for me, it was renewed for me because I now experienced the joy, wonder, and the story through the eyes of a child. My kids bring an energy to Christmas that I hadn’t experienced for a while.
Same thing with Easter. Every year our church does a Palm Parade on Palm Sunday. At the beginning of the second set of music, the congregation sings “Hosanna” while waving palm branches that the church provided, and the children walk a loop through the sanctuary while waving their palm branches and smiling at Mom and Dad. Before I had kids, I rolled my eyes at this “weird” tradition, but when I had my own kids, I was amazed at their excitement and enthusiastic participation in this annual tradition. In turn, I experienced this time-honored tradition anew and with fresh eyes.
My own children have taught me a lot about seeing things anew and afresh in the holidays and traditions that I had grown tired of.
Easter is an annual time of the year where we remember and experience the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection. My hope is that you will be able to experience this annual routine anew and with fresh eyes.