"For what is Christmas without Easter?"
I love Easter. When I was a child I loved it for all of the silly Easter things - bunnies, chocolate, eggs, new dresses and shoes - Easter. Now that I am an adult I still love Easter for new and fun things, but not silly things (other than new clothes).
This was the first year I participated in Lent and I now know it will be a yearly ritual for me. This year I gave up things I felt were controlling me and my time, I "sacrificed" things that seemed important. What I learned through this process was not a surprise - these things were controlling me and giving them up really didn't feel like a sacrifice at all (well, in the beginning maybe). Each day of abstaining reminded me of the sacrifice Jesus made for me and in comparison what I gave up was nothing. I watched a sermon not long ago talking about the sacrifice Jesus made by simply coming to Earth. He came from Heaven, surrounded by angels constantly worshipping and singing "Holy, Holy, Holy" down to Earth to be surrounded by crowds shouting "Crucify Him!!!!" Wow, what a difference.
I often feel that when I need to learn a lesson God puts people around me or puts me in situations to really hammer home the message. This year's lesson is humbling, literally. I know God is giving me comfort in my position in life, showing me that my "world view" needs to go. I won't go into too much detail as this would get really long but I feel a renewal this year. I feel comfort knowing I am where I should be, doing what I should be doing and I feel God has shown me areas of my life that really need some work. It's a relief to know He cares enough to be involved.
In church yesterday we watched a video that really struck home. You know how sometimes you "know" things and sometimes that knowledge hits you full force and you feel "wow!"?
The video showed Buddha and stated that his followers make pilgrimages to his grave to honor him. It showed Abraham and said that the Jews also make pilgrimages to his grave to honor him, as do the Muslims to Mohammed's grave.
And then it showed the tomb, with the stone rolled away. We don't make pilgrimages to our leader's grave - why? - because He is ALIVE!!!
Pastor Tim went on to say that of the world's major religions only four are based on human leaders.
Of these four, three of them are dead.
Yesterday, and everyday, I rejoice in the fact that I serve a living God. And of all the things to be thankful for, that one is at the top of the list.
First thing Easter morning William comes and snuggles up in my bed and says "Mom, can I wear my socks now?". It took all the energy I had to get him to wait until after his bath. Both boys were so excited to wear their new clothes, Lewis put on his socks before anything else and I got a very funny picture of him in nothing but those socks. I will not be posting that on the internet but I'll be more than happy to show it to you in person if we're blessed to be together.
And the remarkable thing? Both boys made it all the way through the church service without causing a disturbance!!! I tell you the truth, I was proud of them. I'm still a bit surprised just thinking about it, their first time sitting through a full service and they were soooooooo good. And not one of them reached up for the bread! Though, I will say, all of our preperation did cause some discussion (not a bad thing if your child truly understands whispering) and they were curious to see the bread and wine and each boy remembered what is symbolized.
We celebrated after church with lunch and our friends, we had a lovely time. The kids played outside so nicely and the adults were able to have a nice long lunch without too much interruption - not a common occurence with the six and under crowd around,all nine of them.
I hope you all had a very Happy Easter and that it will bring you a season of renewal too!