The eleventh hour...

Apr 22, 2014

This Easter season completely surprise attacked our family.  Lent was total chaos as we tried to juggle baby showers, wedding showers, birthday parties, our day time sitters coming and going, watching a new baby on my "stay at home mom" days, school for Scarlett, school for Chris, tax season work hours, Saturdays at my desk, and too many late nights, attempting to squeeze actual communication into our marriage.

When Holy week approached and I had spent a collective 5 days of lent actually fasting, I realized that this years Easter feast would be unfortunately lacking its usual relief.  I was sad that my enthusiasm at the beginning of lent, quickly faltered into nothing, absolutely nothing.  I was just living, day to day, keeping my head above water.  On good Friday Chris sent me this:

"If any be a devout lover of God, let him partake with gladness from this fair and radiant feast.
If any be a faithful servant, let him enter rejoicing into the joy of his Lord.
If any have wearied himself with fasting, let him now enjoy his reward.
If any have labored from the first hour, let him receive today his rightful due.
If any have come after the third, let him not be in doubt, for he will suffer no loss.
If any have delayed until the ninth, let him not hesitate but draw near.
If any have arrived only at the eleventh, let him not be afraid because he comes so late.
For the Master is generous and accepts the last even as the first.  He gives rest to him who comes at the eleventh hour in the same was as him who was labored from the first.  He accepts the deed, and commends the intention.  Enter then, all of you, into the joy of our Lord..."
- The traditional Paschal homily of St. John Chrysostom

It doesn't matter that I was unfaithful in my lenten practice, I spent 20 years in the body of Christ before I even knew what lent was, I essentially entered the entire church calendar in the eleventh hour.  What matters is that I understand the hope I have been offered, a hope that sits before me now, and every day going forward.  Through the grace of God I am forgiven, regardless of my inability to stand strong against my earthly desires, regardless of my tired eyes that close before they can utter thanks for the day, or a foggy morning mind that keeps me from starting my day in a conversation with my Savior.  This Easter season I enter into the joy of the Lord at the eleventh hour, completely and utterly broken and ready for renewal. 

And on a much lighter note...the Easter bunny did make a last minute appearance in our home.  I literally mentioned to Scarlett as she was closing her eyes on Saturday that tomorrow was Easter and that the Easter bunny might be involved.  In true toddler fashion, she was up at 5:30 am asking if she can check the halls for any signs that he hopped by the night before.  We made her wait for her brother to wake and it was the longest hour of our entire weekend.

Thankfully he left a basket full of target dollar section items...

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