What does Easter mean to you?

Easter is finally here! Christ is risen, he is risen indeed!  

But what does it really mean for you? What difference does it make? We can point to the signs of spring and admire the trees budding and tulips pushing up from the mulch but anyone can explain that away with science. So, until there’s a “springtime of the soul,” Easter hasn’t quite yet come. Only faith can give words to that kind of new life and rebirth. Let me tell you a story of how Easter came to me this week. 

Where I live, in Brooklyn Center, we have curbside pickup once a year. You can put out your old appliances, scrap metal, couches, mattresses, most anything and the city will haul it away. What I didn’t know is that there are also local residents who drive up and down the street looking to see what gets put out. (I mean, who doesn’t like a free rummage sale?)  So, we had a broken microwave that was picked up right away, three broken guitar amplifiers went lickety-split, but it was my dad‘s golf clubs that I want to tell you about. 

Dad died in 2005 from bone cancer. His golf clubs sat outside in the shed for 16 years. I just couldn’t part with them, even though I don’t play. So this was a year I decided to put them on the curb. I went through the zipper pouches to make sure there weren’t any valuables. I did find a brand new umbrella tucked inside one of the zippers that had never been used, so I was going to keep that. The moment I dropped the golf clubs on the curbside an SUV slowed down and the driver looked out the window, his son had his face pressed up to the glass, rolling down his window. 

“Do you want these?” I asked the driver, “I don’t play golf.”  “I do!” shouted the boy. He was about 10 years old. They got out of the car and came over. “Sure thing, it’s all yours” I said. It wasn’t the best set of clubs (but heck, for free?). It had a nice leather bag, a couple of drivers and wedges and a putter. The kid was so excited, “This is the luckiest day of my life, dad!” His face radiated joy as he looked at his dad, who loaded the clubs into the back of their SUV. 

“Hey kid,” I said, “You want this umbrella? You might need it out on the course.” “Hey dad,” he yelled, “I even got a free umbrella!” I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants! And I think my dad probably got a good kick out of it too, seeing his old clubs finally get put to use after all those years of sadness, death and remembering. 

I don’t know why, but this is my Easter story in 2021. The look on that kid’s face was just the resurrection that I needed after the long hard winter we all have endured. Thanks be to God that Easter still comes. I pray for new life in your life this Easter season, too, and that you will find the word for the springtime of your soul. God bless you and keep you.

John Stiles is the pastor of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, located at 825 Golf Avenue SW in Pine City. For more information on Our Redeemer, visit www.orlcpc.com.

Editor’s Note: We invite faith leaders, community members and thoughtful readers to share uplifting writing and ideas in “Inspirations.” For more information email editor@pinecitymn.com or call Mike at 320-629-6771.

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