Easter Birthdays

My daughter will celebrate her birthday on Easter Sunday this year.  In her ten years of life this is the second time that her birthday has fallen on this most important Christian holiday.  She turned five the last time it happened, and it was the same week that her grandfather had emergency coronary bypass surgery.  That was one memorable birthday party as we gathered for cake and presents in the nearly empty Easter Sunday cafeteria at Sanford Medical Center.  The handful of nurses and other families of patients smiled at a little girl riding her brand new pink scooter around the salad bar.  When Olivia and her similarly young cousins made their way into the lobby for an improvised Easter egg hunt, we were shushed repeatedly by the volunteer at the welcome counter.   Thankfully, Grandpa recovered well and the deep fear of that Maundy Thursday heart attack was replaced by an Easter Sunday party.






The great drama that we reenact each year beginning with Ash Wednesday and leading up to crescendo of holy week gives us a chance to relive and remember the salvation story of Christ being led to a tomb and the great, mysterious party that follows.

I certainly hope that we don’t have a family medical emergency this year surrounding Olivia’s birthday.  I’d just as soon eat our Easter ham with family and friends and enjoy a little birthday party in the quiet of our own home this time.   However, even that birthday in the shadow of the intensive care until five years ago was still a wonderful party.  Because Jesus lives, all our personal Maundy Thursdays lead to a party in the end.