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Easter Morning

I want to start with something funny that I found on an internet site: A priest talked to his ten-year-old catechism class and asked, “Who can tell me something about Easter?” A little girl raised her hand and said, “That’s when they hide all the eggs.” The priest said, “Yes, but that’s not the religious meaning, right?” Another girl raised her hand and said, “Easter, that’s when I always get a chocolate rabbit.” Once again, the priest said, “That’s nice, but that isn’t the religious meaning, is it?” Finally, little Johnny raised his hand and said, “Father, I know. On Good Friday, Jesus was crucified.” And the priest excitedly said, “Yes.” And Johnny said, “And the next day, he was placed in a cave behind a big boulder.” And the priest grew more excited that one of the children seemed to know. Then, Johnny said, “On Easter Sunday, the boulder rolled back, and Jesus came out.” And the priest couldn’t contain himself any longer, happy that he had reached at least one child, and he said, “Yes, yes, then what happens?” And little Johnny said, “And if Jesus sees his shadow, we will have six more weeks of winter.”

What kind of imagery comes to mind when you think of “Easter”? For kids, it might be an Easter egg hunt or chocolate rabbit candies, like in the story. For some of you, it might be lilies, greeneries, or spring flowers. And others may think of Jesus’ resurrection, hope, spring, etc. We just went through holy week, which is Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and now today is Easter morning.

I want to share some of my memories of Easter morning. I have two great memories of Easter morning. Back in Korea, my whole family attended the Easter morning service where my father was baptized; the other was the first Easter service I attended in the United States.

Back in Korea, my outstanding memory of Easter morning is the one where my whole family attended the Easter service. On Easter morning in 1994, my father was baptized. It was not only the baptism of my father, which was amazing, but it was a transformative event for my entire family. My father’s baptism resulted in my family’s religious change. My father was expected to continue the family religion followed by my ancestors and grandparents, which was Confucianism. However, my father decided we would no longer follow our ancestor’s worship, and then he destroyed our family ancestor’s temple. After my father’s baptism, my father asked me to be the family spiritual leader, which meant I would coordinate and lead the affairs in a Christian manner, for the whole family, such as home services, birthday services, ancestors’ memorial services, and more—Easter morning led my family toward our new faith journey. It was, for me, hope, a new day, and a bright future. I could do what I wanted even though I was a woman. My mother used to pray for my family that my family members would attend church services sitting in a pew together. Whenever my mother went to church, she used to pray, touching her pew, that my whole family would sit there together. That Easter morning was the day my mother’s prayers came true. I miss my family every Easter morning. I encourage you to

touch your next pew and pray that your family members will sit with you for service. God may answer you. May your prayers come true!
The second memory I wanted to share with you was the one where I had no church to attend for Easter service the first year I was in the United States. I prepared for planting a new church with five young adults, having a prayer meeting and service at someone’s house. We looked for a church for Easter service instead of having a service at home. Finally, we attended an American congregation church, Central United Methodist Church, in Skokie, IL, for Easter service. Five young adults and I attended that church service on Easter morning in 2008. The congregation’s hospitality was exceptional. We joined their fellowship after service, and each of us got a spider seed plant as a gift for Easter. It was a symbol of sharing new life. It was inspiring for me. After that, we rented the church for our new church. That church is still there, and began in August 2008. The church now has more than 150 members and was chartered last year. Also, I still raise that spider plant. When I moved here to Wisconsin, I took it with me. I met the risen Jesus Christ through the congregation, bringing me hope, a new life, a new church, and a bright future on that Easter morning.

What does Easter morning mean to you? Today’s scripture shows several disciples on the first Easter morning. We see Mary Magdalene, the first person to come to Jesus early in the morning. It was still dark. She was the first person to see the risen Christ and the first witness to his resurrection. We find two other disciples, Peter and the other disciple, who might be John. They came to Jesus because Mary Magdalene told them Jesus’ body was gone. They saw an empty tomb, but they were just back home. However, Mary Magdalene stayed there crying to see Jesus. Finally, Jesus came to her.

What are you looking for this Easter morning? I hope you find Jesus, hope, new life, and a bright future. Please share your hope and a new life as sharing seeds or seed plants. Easter is why Christians believe in eternal life, resurrection, and hope. Easter morning is when Jesus came to us in a new way. He has risen for you. Hallelujah! Thanks be to God. Amen!