I must confess that for the most part I had a very happy childhood. My parents were very good people and very good parents. They were tuned in to the world around them. They knew what it meant to seize the day and live in the moment. They taught me things I didn’t even know they taught me until I reached my 30’s. And even now, I’m still learning.

I remember the Easters of my childhood. Yes, it was about dyeing eggs and waking up Easter morning to see an Easter basket that was a work of art. Wrapped in transparent pastel cellophane it contained all the traditional treats that I still enjoy in moderation.

I remember our little church where on Easter we had two services. My buddy and I went to the early service where we heard our parents in the choir singing the great triumphant hymns and songs affirming that something really big happened back two thousand years ago. After Sunday School during the second service, we were allowed to sit in the Pastor’s office and eat the leftover donuts, adding them to the copious amounts of chocolate already consumed from our Easter baskets.

Then after church, we would go home, eat Easter Sunday dinner, and I would attempt to gorge myself on a few more Gold Brick or Heavenly Hash chocolate eggs.

We never had church on Easter Sunday night, so that was a time to visit family or maybe just stay home and watch the Wizard of Oz or the Wonderful World of Disney, which I rarely ever got to see since we almost always went back to church on Sunday night.

Easter was just different. It felt different. In our home, every Sunday was special. It just felt different from the other days of the week. I can’t explain why, it just did. Easter Sunday was even more unique. Perhaps you could even say it was a bit mysterious.

The Bible speaks of mysteries. This is not a theological treatise to explain those, but I do think that God gave us some mysteries to study and even solve. There is something about the Easter season that is mysterious. Every year we re-live the last week of Jesus’ journey as a human being on Earth. Unlike Christmas, which was probably not on December 25, we know that the Passover season was in the springtime. It seems it is almost re-created in our 21stcentury minds.

From remembering His triumphant entry on Palm Sunday, mourning His death and celebrating His resurrection, it mysteriously seems almost as though it is happening all over again. No one really knows what it was like to live in Jerusalem two millennia ago, but somehow we feel like those world-changing events are happening all over again today, even right where we live.

In spring, the earth comes back to life. Winter releases its icy grip on the world. The dogwoods testify to the story of the Christ. The southern pines display the cross on their branches. The world that was dead comes alive again. All nature combines to sing the great chorus “He is Risen Indeed.” For a few days a unique ambience envelops the world. It is all but undeniable.

When I was a teenager, our Pastor convinced me to make a cross and put it in front of our church property on Holy Week. Our church was located on a busy thoroughfare in the city. Then on Good Friday, I draped the cross in black. I don’t know what the people who drove by thought when they saw that cross. For me it was an experience in construction and getting things done without a budget.

On Easter Sunday morning, according to our plan, I got up just before dawn and went down to the church and put a white drape on the cross. The people at the 24 hour gas station across the street watched me suspiciously as I stood on the roof of my car putting the white mantle in place, not sure if what I was doing was intended or some teenage mischief.

But for me that day the mystery was solved. Something about that early spring morning as the sun came up I realized what Easter was all about. I experienced the presence of the risen Saviour. It was more than songs and chocolate and dinner. It really happened. He arose!

All rights reserved David B. Carpenter 2015