Hopping down the bunny trail

By Gerry Lewis | Published Wednesday, April 4, 2018

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It’s funny how things stick with you. As I’m writing this late Easter evening, I’m remembering a song from my childhood:

“Here comes Peter Cottontail, hoppin’ down the bunny trail; hippity hoppin’, Easter’s on its way. Bringin’ every girl and boy baskets full of Easter joy; things to make your Easter bright and gay.”

I just listened to a Youtube recording of Gene Autry’s 1950 version (that was considerably before my time, by the way).

The song was composed in 1949 by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins, who wrote “Frosty the Snowman” a year later.

Easter eggs and Easter bunnies have been the center of attention for the past few days. I’ve enjoyed the Facebook pictures and videos of children hunting Easter eggs (and of course, I most enjoyed those pictures and videos that included my grandchildren). When my kids were little, almost every Easter included a big family Easter egg hunt at Grandpa’s farm (now that I’m Grandpa, he’s known as Big Grandpa). What wonderful memories!

My Easter this year didn’t include bunnies and eggs. I didn’t even have any candy (unless you count a Hershey’s kiss left over from Valentine’s Day). But my Easter Sunday did start with a rare and precious few moments. I was up early getting ready to head for church so I could rehearse with the worship band on one of the rare occasions that I get to be at my home church. I enjoy getting to stand in the background, sing harmony and play a supporting instrument (bass guitar today) while someone else leads. As one who has been regularly up front for 30-plus years, supporting roles are refreshing to my spirit.

As the sun was just coming up, an idea hit me. I took my cup of coffee and my Bible and stepped out onto my front porch. I sat on the bench in front of the window with the glow of the lamp behind me and the dawn’s early light in front of me and I read the resurrection accounts included in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

I inhaled deeply the fresh morning air, feeling the slightest breeze brush across my face. I sipped hot coffee, but the warmth I felt was less from the coffee and the rising sun and more from the presence of the risen Son.

It wasn’t called Easter on that first resurrection Sunday, but it changed everything. The reason that many Christians meet for worship on the first day of the week is because of the resurrection of Jesus, but it wasn’t simply a change of the worship schedule. That day changed the course of history. It changed every other day. It changed the meaning of life and its moments. It proved the power of God and the trustworthiness of His words.

I know Easter is over for 2018, but let’s not hop on down the trail too fast. Soak it in. Your life matters too much to hurry through this.

Dr. Gerry Lewis, author, blogger, church consultant and leadership coach, serves as executive director of the Harvest Baptist Association in Decatur.

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