When you are a kid, your birthday has this magical aura about it. You go to the store with your parents and pick out the cake with the football goalposts on it. Then you invite all of your friends to go play mini-golf with you. You are showered with all the coolest toys from your family. Then we had the special celebrations at the Abbott house when the entire family would celebrate the birthdays of me and my sister. Fond memories, but things have changed.
Is it the dread of getting older that makes me shrug off celebrating my birthday? I don’t think so, because I haven’t even hit the quarter century yet. And it’s not that I don’t like partying with my friends. Everybody knows I love a good time and a cold brew with my buds. Maybe it’s just the realization that I have things to do, and March 5th will be just like any other day.
I’ll wake up and share an enjoyable breakfast with “The Breakfast Club.” Then I’ll head over to the chapel in the morning. Nothing new, just the routine. I’ll probably work out and have lunch. I have Systematic Theology in the afternoon followed by spiritual direction. After that I’ll have dinner and probably just read and do some schoolwork. What a routine day.
Don’t get me wrong, I still get those feelings on important days. That tingling you get in your bones on your birthday as a kid, that unstoppable giddiness and that uncontrollable grin, well, all those feelings just come on other days.
Because that feeling you get when you’re a kid, I now understand that feeling to be holy. Holiness is when you have this deep-down gut-level sense that something of incredible importance is being celebrated. When you’re a kid, your birthday is holy and set aside because the whole world turns their attention to you. People sing, candles are lit, there’s a feast, all of your friends come over.
But for Christians, we do all of these things for the most important day, Easter. It really has all the workings of a fancy birthday party. We are remembering a day of great importance. Friends come in from far and wide to celebrate. We have great food and sing and rejoice and get to light one really huge candle in church. And though it may not be cake, it’s definitely a memosa after church and a great big feast of ham and all the fixings.
So I appreciate all of the birthday cards and the wishes for a good year. But the day of Easter is when I celebrate my new-birth. For when the tomb was found to be mysteriously empty on that Sunday morning, I was given new life.
Thanks be to God.