Out in the Pacific Ocean, about 2,000 miles off the coast of Chile, there is an island, named by Dutch Admiral Roggeveen on Easter Sunday almost 300 years ago. You guessed it; he named it Easter Island.
Frankly, I wish the horrific colonialism of the day would have at least included getting to know the indigenous people well enough to learn and use their names for things. Their name for the island surely would have been better than Easter. For Easter (this European Christian name for the very essence of renewed abundance in life that rises out of death and despair so regularly in every bit of creation) has never been just an island sort of affair.
Easter is the very mainland of our existence, everywhere on the planet.
I originally became familiar with this clever observation of Easter’s mainland presence in our lives through theologian Halford Luccock in his tiny book entitled, Enter the Crocus, published in 1980 by Pilgrim Press. I’m not sure if Halford would agree with me, but I would argue that Easter-ing is a powerful, tenacious re-birthing that happens in innumerable ways for people in every faith tradition in the world.
Our Muslim sisters and brothers are about to finish their holy holiday of Ramadan next week, and one of the most beautiful shades of meaning of the word, Islam is “surrendering to the divine.” That is exactly the work that Jesus was about in the Garden of Gethsemane—allowing himself to be pruned by the One in whom he entrusted his life—knowing in his bones that Easter-ing is the very Way of God.
A few years back I was learning about Ramadan by praying and fasting in ways new to me, and I began each day repeating this prayer-mantra in front of my east window, and ended the day with the same prayer in front of my west window:
To You I belong, O God. In You I am carried all day, and in the fullness of time, to You I will return.
Morning and night I would curl myself up on the floor in the yoga position called “child’s pose,” (as we are all children before our Holy Parent), and I found this Islamic tradition to fall prostrate and surrender my small self to that larger Presence I call God to be incredibly renewing and filled with the delights of Easter for me. Thank God that Easter is not just a single day, whether you observed it yesterday with our Eastern Orthodox friends, or maybe several weeks ago! Easter is here for the long-haul. Our invitation is to simply find ways to tap into it afresh each day.
Blessings to you as you are carried through the day by Love,