I don’t know about you, but it feels like Easter finally arrived and burst through a monotonous stream of days spent in isolation! (Rather like being released from a tomb!) In fact, my sense of time (never that good to begin with) has become quite blurred. The holiday totally snuck up on me, and it took our pastor asking us to participate in our church’s pre-recorded Easter Service to bring me out of the haze!
Pastor Dennis hinted that costumes would be nice, so that is what we delivered! You might recognize the following costume pieces from past blog posts:
- DIY Pillowcase Biblical Costumes (Elliott and Eliza’s outfits.)
- DIY No-Sew Saint Lucia Outfit (Emma’s Angel dress.)
- DIY Fairy Princess Cape Made from a Shirt (Emma’s embellished wings and tiara.)
It’s one thing to have all the costume pieces…It’s another thing to convince everyone to wear them, get in the car, arrive on location, and shoot pictures and videos…All before the sun goes down. As usual, Annika was not on board. I had a costume for her, but she freaked out, “Hulked out”, and tore the shoulder out as she stripped that thing right off. That is why this is the only appearance she deigned to make during our Easter play. Oliver (Roman Guard) participated in the video, but did not consent to being photographed, either.
Do you see that turret in the background? Are we in Europe? I wish! The location we used for this project was the grounds of Wells House. It sits on the edge of Wenatchee Valley College. It’s within walking distance of our home. We’ve been frequenting this place quite a bit, these days. It’s a great, isolated location for the kids to run around and play (without any tempting play equipment that they can’t touch, due to COVID19). The campus has an eerie feeling, since there are no college students or faculty about. With a little imagination, the Wells House and its garden could almost be a cemetery. Perhaps the flagstone patio and outdoor fireplace made of stone could be a tomb?
With our location picked, it was time to assemble our cast of characters. Here they are, as outlined by their costume pieces!
Emma: The Angel
Eliza: Mary Magdalene
As you know, I always keep my eyes peeled for shoes that can pass for historic footwear. All of these sandals have taken me years to collect! Since things don’t always turn up at the right time (or at the right price), we have to get creative. This happened a couple years ago when I wanted Greek sandals for Emma. So, I turned to her existing shoe collection. These were her favorite purple sandals. They were already hand-me-downs when she got them, and I think it’s apparent that she finished them off! However, I was able to remove the frayed lining and flowers. Emma helped me to finish the transformation with spray paint. Now, they have a new life as costume shoes, and they currently fit Eliza! (The spray paint is an effective quick-fix, but it’s not very durable.)
Okay! Location? Check.
Wait. What are we doing? Places, everyone! Action!
“Saturday evening, when the Sabbath ended, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body.” Mark 16:1 NIV
“Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb. On the way they were asking each other, ‘Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?'” Mark 16:2-4 NIV
“There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow.” Matthew 28:2-3 NIV
“The women were shocked, but the angel said, ‘Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Look, this is where they laid his body. Now go and tell his disciples, including Peter, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.’” Mark 16:5b-7 NIV
“So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.” Matthew 28:8 NIV
“When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.” Luke 24:9-12 NIV
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:16-20 NIV
“When he had led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them. While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven. Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple, praising God.” Luke 24:50-53 NIV
“Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” John 20:30-31 NIV
Whew! These powerful passages always get me. In case you’re also feeling a bit emotional, here is yet another compilation of the many faces of Eliza:
You can view our church’s pre-recorded Easter Service, below. Our family’s bits are within the first ten minutes. Of course, I encourage you to watch the whole service! It was beautiful, poignant, and even funny, to see the creativity and collaboration of our congregation in this video. It culminates in Pastor Dennis delivering his sermon from in front of the Memorial Wall in our church’s garden. This location holds extra significance for our family, as Jeff’s grandfather’s ashes (Bruce Gellatly) are interred in that very wall.
This hope of new life and resurrection is offered to us today and everyday! I pray that this light will burn brighter in our hearts as we return to an unknown future of social distancing; missing the fellowship of our family and friends.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39 NIV
He is risen! He is risen, indeed!