It wasn’t the sort of weather any of us would order for Easter: a bitter wind sending the temperature below freezing and a dismal gray sky. The eggs were hidden and found in shorter time than usual and not many bothered with that third scouring search around the edge of the yard just in case one or two had been missed.
It wasn’t the sort of morning in southern Kansas that would draw out many for the sunrise service. “Sunrise” was a sort of dubious concept anyway with all that gray and no perceptible shift to clearly say when a sun you couldn’t see had risen. Just a few gathered among the hardwood pews for that particular celebration.
It wasn’t the sort of situation that you hope for when you’re planning a potluck breakfast for Easter morning. If it had been sunny and sixty there might well have been thirty or forty gathered there to share sausage-and-egg casserole and fried sweet rolls covered in granulated sugar. While the few who did make it over sipped coffee between bites of breakfast, they wondered aloud how the crowd would be affected by the weather.
And though there must have been some who stayed away on such a dismal day, there were enough who came to nearly fill the building. They packed into the pews until only the very first seats were empty. They came, shook hands and hugged one another, sang hymns and stood together beneath pastel banners that testified “He Is Risen.” They listened to the Children’s Sermon about the “Colors of Christ” and to the adults’ sermon about “The Witness of Stones.”
And in the sharing of bread and cup, reminded each other of sacrifice and hope, of pain and promise. As they knelt before the altar, they remembered the stones of Abraham’s faith, the Stone of Calvary and the stone that an angel moved away. They remembered an empty grave, a prophecy fulfilled and love that will conquer all things.
They remembered that wherever two or three are gathered in his name, he is there among them. And here, on this gray day and its chilling wind, they had Easter. And were glad for the having.