As a child of divorce, Christmas was always about figuring out where you were going. Or as we get older, about making sure you have a gift for everyone you see. It's really fun buying gifts, but there's always this nervousness that you're going to forget someone you love.
Halloween for an actor is a night you don't have to dress up. Very fun, but I never really get into it because I find that the favorite part I like to play is myself.
But Easter is a day you're only beholden to yourself. You don't have to buy gifts. If you don't show up to a party, it's all right. I don't even feel guilty not going to church because we really should remember Jesus year round. On Easter, we are invited to celebrate with music, scripture, and really tasty candy. And it's springtime. There are evidences of rebirth and renewal everywhere you look. You don't have to decorate because the earth does it for you.
In Judaism, my favorite holiday is Yom Kippur or The Day of Atonement. Because it reminds me of Easter.
..In the seventh month, on the tenth day of the month, you shall afflict your souls, and you shall not do any work ... For on that day he shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the LORD. -Leviticus 16:29-30
What does it mean to afflict our souls? To remember. To remember what we have done.
He shall provide atonement for you to cleanse you from all your sins before the Lord.
To remember what He has done.
We remember that He lives. We remember the gifts and the blessings, despite our afflicted souls. We remember the wrongs and we remember that they will be right.
It is a day to remember hope, renewal, and resurrection of both the body and the spirit.
It is a day of praise and gratitude.
Please enjoy this beautiful song of "Total Praise", written by the incomparable Richard Smallwood.
You are the source of my strength. You are the strength of my life.
I lift my hands in total praise to you.