Guest post by Douglas Turner, Coordinator of Group Life
Yesterday afternoon my daughter shared a dream she had the night before that brought me to tears. This is her last year at Christ Methodist Day School, and for those of you who are not familiar with the school, there are many traditions the sixth graders participate in during the last several months of the school year. One in particular that happens to be my favorite is the Easter Walk-Through. The Thursday before Easter grades first through sixth all put on a mini passion play. Each grade is assigned a specific scene in the story, and students are chosen at random to act out each part.
The students who are not part of the play that year, staff, parents and grandparents all gather in the Christ Church Sanctuary and are then “released” in waves to go walk throughout the school to see the story unfold. At the close, everyone is led to the Courtyard and places a flower on a cross. It truly is a precious event, but what makes it so meaningful for the sixth graders is they all surround this beautiful cross in a circle holding hands and offer up their prayers to God. I know, moms, grab your tissues. It gets me every year! Isn’t it just a wonderful tradition?
At this point you are probably wondering, what does this have to do with my daughter’s dream… so back to that. She said, “Mom, I dreamed I was at school all by myself, and I walked to the cross in the courtyard and it was completely empty. I took my one flower and put it in the middle of the cross, and all of the sudden, the cross began to fill with beautiful flowers.”
Now, I’m sure Joseph, the dreamer, could really spend some time interpreting that one and go so many ways with it, but I am going to spend some time talking about what this dream said to me. I realized at that moment that Reaves was struggling because her traditions were being stolen from her, and it broke my heart. During this process of trying to make life as normal as we can by adding a NEW way of doing school, a NEW way of being at home, a NEW way to communicate with her friends, I was forgetting about all the precious traditions that we have that are now gone.
With Easter fast approaching, I have had so much anxiety about how to make our NEW worship in the living room a special one for our kids on Easter morning. I don’t think I am alone in this. In fact, just the other day my girl’s group was texting about this very topic. How do we keep the traditions in the midst of this chaos, or how do we form new ones that are more than just an Egg Hunt for our kids?
One of the NEW things that we have been doing at home is gathering as family in the mornings and going from the beginning to the end of the Bible and fitting all the stories together. One story in particular keeps coming up, and I know God wants it on my heart right now. It is the story of Joshua and how he brought the Israelites into the land of Canaan. After crossing the Jordan River he chose 12 men from each tribe and told them to take a stone from the middle of the Jordan and create a memorial to God as a reminder for the Israelite people for what He did for them during this time.
When I start thinking about Easter, I realize that we need to thank God for this time. After the Egg Hunt and the live stream BUT before our ham and deviled egg lunch, we will be making a memorial to OUR GOD. This will be a reminder for the Turner family that He was with us during this virus. He has forever changed our family and the way we will do life, and I am grateful for this.
So, back to the dream and Easter Walk-Through… that one flower spread and changed the whole cross, just like Jesus did for us on Easter morning. He changed the ugly cross into something beautiful that we can cling to not only during this time but always. Oh, and there will be an Easter Walk-Through…. just in a virtual way! We are all finding a way to hang on to the old traditions in a NEW way!