Posts by AshleySHagan

Easter Is Not Cancelled

Posted by on Apr 8, 2020 in Miscellaneous | 5 comments

Easter Is Not Cancelled

I saw a post from a friend the other day mentioning that the Pope had cancelled Easter.  I knew  what she meant, that Easter services couldn’t be held because of this virus, but it made me wonder how many people are feeling that it’s reality, that Easter is cancelled, cast aside in the wake of a pandemic and unable to be celebrated.  Immediately, my mind went to a Dr. Seuss quote about Christmas, and I quickly adapted it to fit: “What if EASTER, he thought, didn’t come from a store?  What if EASTER, perhaps, meant a little bit more?”

Easter is not cancelled.

Last Sunday was Palm Sunday, the day Christians celebrate Jesus entering Jerusalem on a donkey to great praise, palm branches and clothing being thrown in His path to honor Him.   Many churches have the children come into the sanctuary with palm branches, singing songs of Hosanna.  But not this Palm Sunday.  Churches were closed.  Online services only.  But my friends in Florida, where palm branches are plentiful, decorated their porches with them, took pictures, and celebrated the day anyway.

Easter is not cancelled.

My aunt is one of the flower arrangers for her church’s Good Friday and Easter services.  Each year, they create wondrous works of art, then cover them up with black cloths.  For their Good Friday services—the day Christians celebrate the death of Christ on the cross—the cloths remain over the flowers, hiding them from view.  Until the end.  When the final song is sung, one of triumph and life and resurrection, the cloths are suddenly removed, colors bursting with life all over the church, a glorious symbol of Christ’s death and resurrection.  There will be no flowers in the church this year, under cloths or otherwise.  The congregation won’t gather.  The choir won’t sing.  But it’s only a symbol, after all.  The flowers only represent the life He brings.  The black cloths are merely a reminder of the shroud of death that can cover us.  The reality of what Jesus did for us 2000 years ago remains.  He died so we could live.  He took death captive.  He rose again.

Easter is not cancelled.

The church I grew up in has a beautiful tradition on Easter Sunday.  The tradition started when women wore corsages to church.  After the service, they would pin the corsage to a frame in the shape of a cross.  In more modern times, families are encouraged to bring flowers from their yard to add to the cross.  Although it starts out an empty frame, lifeless and colorless, by the end of all Easter services, the cross is covered in fragrant and vibrant blooms. There won’t be a flower-filled cross this year.  Easter dresses and cute little boys in bowties won’t be seen, except perhaps by their own families.  But Easter isn’t new clothes and flowers and church services.  It doesn’t matter if you miss the opportunity of the pastor saying, “He is risen!” and responding, “He is risen, indeed!”  Those are just traditions, symbols, signs that point to the real thing.

Easter is not cancelled.

It doesn’t come from a store.  It does mean a little bit more. A whole lot more.  More than baskets and bunnies and eggs and candy.  More than egg hunts and new clothes and flowers.  More than choirs singing the Alleluia chorus.  More than favorite hymns.  More than ham and deviled eggs and pound cake.  To a Christian, Easter is the celebration of what Christ did for us, and continues to do every day of our lives.  Maybe our Easter services this year look more like the underground church in countries where church services aren’t allowed because of politics, not pandemics.  But if the devil himself couldn’t prevent Jesus from rising from the grave, no virus, no government, no current scheme of the enemy will ever prevent the resurrection!  So celebrate!  Celebrate in your homes and in your hearts!

Easter. Is. Not. Cancelled.

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PLA Conference

Posted by on Mar 20, 2020 in Book Event, Duel | 0 comments

PLA Conference

I signed Duel at the Public Library Association conference in Nashville next to this sweet author of Middle-grade mysteries, Robin Yardi.  This photo was also in the Sisters in Crime national newsletter! 

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