Attending a new church on Easter is not difficult. The
church is full of Easter worshippers who somehow manage to pull the suit out of
the closet once a year to attend the service. So being new, I blended right in; to the extent
someone my size can blend in anywhere. As, I waited for the service to begin, I
wondered about what draws so many people to Easter Sunday. Is it family, guilt,
or seeing everyone in their finest, especially the Easter bonnets and children
in their dresses and best clothes. ( I love seeing beautiful hats on women. It
is something you see so seldom these days.) But I am wandering.
As I wondered about the filled pews, a thought came to me
about Jesus’ last cry on the cross. This cry has bothered scholars and laymen alike,
and whether you believe he was having last second doubts or just quoting Isaiah,
his cry was human. At that moment he made real to everyone who fill the pews, their
own cry in the storm and to hear no answer. Everyone has cried to God and heard
no answer, or has been sick at heart and found no healing. I realized it was
not guilt, or family, or peer pressure that filled the pews that day, but it
was each individual’s experience with the absence of God that brought them
there that Easter day seeking his presence.
So I had my answer. We
might think we are attending for a multitude of reasons, but something deep inside
us draws us on Easter day. That magnet is the presence of God and its strength
is just a whole lot stronger on Easter day.