He is risen indeed!

Published 1:29 pm Thursday, April 21, 2022

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Salem United Methodist Church on Upper River Road as a cross shrouded in black stands Friday and Saturday

Sumter county celebrated life over the weekend. For Christians, Easter is a high and holy day. It is the day Christians celebrate a risen savior in Jesus Christ. Our neighbors gathered to worship, bathe in joy and offer gratitude. Many of our churches have crosses which stay up all year. In 2020, because COVID-19 hindered us getting to our places of worship, crosses were multiplying at our homes. On Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, many of those crosses can be spotted wearing purple sashes. Purple is the color of royalty and scripture records Jesus being hailed as king on the Sunday before the crucifixion. As a way of adoration, the crowd would wave and place palm branches as Jesus rode on a donkey into Jerusalem. The crosses will wear their purple sashes until crucifixion day, also known as Good Friday. To symbolize the death of Jesus, many crosses will be outfitted in a grief ridden black sash. The sash will stay up until Easter, representing Jesus’ resurrection. To symbolize this happening, a triumphant and pure white sash is draped over the cross welcoming worshipers to Easter Sunday.  It has become tradition for many of us to also bring floral offerings to the cross as it sings of new life and beauty. Covered in blooms, the resurrection morning cross offers a stark contrast to Good Friday.

Many in our home took time to reflect on the happenings between Palm and Easter Sunday. Each day offers a different aspect of Jesus’ life. As we are prone to do, there was time taken to reflect on the last week of Jesus’ humanity as a community. Our churches offered services to throughout the week. It served as a time to worship, to sit in wonder, to rejoice, to reflect, to mourn, to hope and to celebrate. The cross alone, on any day of the year, serves as a reminder. However, our church crosses seem a call out louder and invite even more graciously during Easter week. It is with much adoration we listen to the truth the cross tells. It is with appreciation we take notice of the crosses standing across our county. Gratitude. We stand in gratitude as we wonder and worship. Welcome to Easter, Sumter County.