Easter 2016. Like Christmas, Easter is not celebrated here in China – for obvious reasons. I have to say, these special days – which I really really enjoy – make me very homesick. We are about to enter our 8th year in Asia, and I have to admit that I don’t think I’ll ever stop missing the celebrations and festivities surrounding these important days. They are, of course, often watered down in our home countries, and celebrated for the wrong reasons, but still… I miss the hype! With the hype, comes beautiful messages, hope, and so much joy. Over here these holidays are just a normal working day. No Good Friday and no Easter Monday. No long weekend spent with family, and eating way too many chocolate eggs.
Many Chinese establishments now put up decorations (and then leave them up for months and months) but never for the right reasons. Maybe it was my desire to feel a little bit of “normal” but I was dying to find some Easter eggs this year. We searched a few grocery stores and found none. On Saturday we took a long walk along the coast, and much to my surprise, we found a big Easter egg display in the Hyatt Recency. Silly as it may seem, it made me really happy inside. So did all of the fresh cut tulips on display around the hotel lobby. Even though bunnies and chocolate eggs are not the reason why we celebrate Easter, I was just happy to see a little bit of home on this, one of my favorite, religious holidays.
Being away from everything that “is home” has really given us a chance to appreciate the raw truth of these special days. Over here all of the frills and bows are non-existent, and we are left exclusively thinking about why we celebrate these days. Sure, we love all the fancy decorations, but at the heart of it all, there is something so much more important to be thinking about. In the hype that leads up to these holidays, the frills often distract us from the real meaning.
On Easter Sunday we shared a deliciously large meal with our local fellowship. We asked everyone to bring a dish that they either liked to make, or that their families usually made on Easter. There was ham, apple sauce, mashed potatoes, bread and cheese, fruit salad, deviled eggs, fried rice, vegetables, corn bread, sweet tea, and cookies. We listened to an amazing message that reminded all of us WHY we celebrate this special day. The only reason for it all… HE IS RISEN!
Since we are now hosting this fellowship in our home, I often don’t have time to take my camera out. My introverted nature also often gets in the way of me taking pictures, because I often feel too shy to ask people if I can take a picture of them. Catherine – shy?? Crazy, right! I therefore only got a quick picture of the food and then a couple of Elijah doing his “taste test”. Clearly he was trying to figure out whether he wanted to eat that green bean or not.
We hope that all of you had a blessed Easter, and that you remembered the real reason behind this special day.