The Secret Message of Easter

Last Easter my son (three years old at the time) went to church looking for Jesus. Before entering the sanctuary, he knelt at the wire cross filled with flowers, took a yellow carnation from the white plastic bucket sitting on the ground, and added the flower to the cross. Then he yelled out, “I don’t see Jesus!”

Sitting in church as worship started, I whispered in his ear, “Jesus is in your heart.” He quickly replied, “But he’s too big for my heart.”

Despite the best Sunday school teachers, it’s sometimes hard to explain what Christians believe Easter is all about.

It’s about renewal. Transformation. Liberation. Freedom. And hoping for all of these things.

Easter is about despair losing its hold on us and making room for hope.

The chocolate bunnies and dyed eggs are part of Easter at our house.

But what about hope?

Like an Easter egg, can you hunt for hope, find it outside hiding under a bush, put it in your basket and take it home?

What if all the other kids find it first?
Will there be any left for me to find?

Like that tiny chocolate egg wrapped in silver paper, can you unwrap and eat hope? (I think hope must taste like chocolate).

What does hope look and feel like for someone with depression and anxiety?

It can be Easter, but, like my son, we don’t see Jesus.

Hope might look like a little pill that a doctor prescribes.

Hope might look like sitting in a support group circle.

Hope might look like showing up to your body and feeling alive.

Hope might look like a late night phone call to somebody you trust.

Hope might look like showing up at church.

Hope might look like an in-patient treatment facility.

What does hope look like for you?

Renewal. Transformation. Liberation. Freedom.

In seeking to let go of the hold of depression and anxiety, we can make room for something better for our lives.

The secret message of Easter is that hope is hiding right in front of you and right within you.

And let me know if you see Jesus.
My son’s still looking for him.

Published by Sarah Griffith Lund

Leader, preacher and author of *Blessed are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Church and Family*

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