The last few weeks had been rough. I wanted to give up. I wanted to throw in the towel. There were several times when I stumbled and failed; others, when I just whined and complained. Just a few more days, I told myself. A few more days, and I can put it all out of my mind.
And then that great day finally arrived. I put on one of my best dresses, and my shiny shoes, and headed out for the big night. I gathered around with my family and close friends, waiting with gleeful impatience for the clock to tick over to the new day.
The excitement in the air was palpable. We were counting down the minutes. And then, there rang out three simple words:
Christ is Risen!
With those three words, time stood still. All was made new, all was washed clean. Everything began again. And since the beauty, glory and holiness of Pascha [or Easter, if it’s all Greek to you] is so difficult to explain to those who have yet to experience it, I have taken to calling it Orthodox New Year.
The Paschal Homily of St. John Chrysostom helps clarify that sentiment with beauty and eloquence. No matter what has preceded this moment, no matter how I have struggled, fallen, or shown disregard in my spiritual obligations along the way, I need not worry. I am given a new day- and in a very real sense, a new life.
Being someone who hates to feel stuck, I crave-and relish-the feeling of renewal. And to know I have it, and to spend an entire day immersing myself in the knowing, is a beautiful thing indeed.
So, Happy New Year to you, too!
Truly He is Risen!