Sunday, March 31, 2013

Wait... What? Easter MEANS Something?!?

Every Easter, the kids and I (and occasionally the husband) go to Easter service with my in-laws. It's just like Christmas - candlelight service. It's just something we do. It's a tradition. And, up until the past year, these two holidays were generally the only time you'd catch me in church.

I went to Sunday School and several years of confirmation. I know the Easter story. Jesus died for us... Jesus rose from the dead... blah blah blah. Now, pass the chocolate. Ohhh, and the ham please! And dear Lord please pass the wine.

I am a bit ashamed to admit that I have always been a little dismissive of Easter, and Christmas, and every other religious holiday and event. And, well, religion in general. It isn't that I didn't believe - I did. I just really didn't care... or, not even so much that. I just was too busy with other "important" things to bother taking the time to care. And I definitely didn't pay attention to what it all means.

This year has been different. This year, it truly hit me that this time of year has a purpose. There's a real story behind Easter. A story which affects me, and all of us. There have been many moments this Lent and Easter season which have touched me. Lent especially has been a season I have never paid attention to. Heck, I didn't even know what it was or what the point of it was until this year. Palm Sunday? Never even bothered going to church that Sunday in previous years - I only knew my kids came home from church with their Grandparents with palm leaves in their hands. Maundy Thursday? What the heck is that? (I must say, the stripping of the alter that night was incredibly moving).

Anyway, this year I offered to help out with the Sunrise Service. Our teenagers at the church have apparently done this service for the past several years (we just became members in December of this year, so my kids have never taken part). I was a bit hesitant at the whole 7am service idea (I have to get up when!!?!!?!!???). But, I did want to help. So, I helped come up with ideas, prayers, etc, and met with the pastor, and typed up the bulletin, and found the music online (we lost our piano players at the last minute), and burned the CD, and helped with the run-through of the service, and was at the church at 6:30 this morning, where I was blessed with the fun task of running the music.

I watched a group of 12 teenagers put on a church service incredibly beautifully. They all did a wonderful job. The all had a part to speak and did so clearly. Four of them (my daughter included) did a little skit, which told such a beautiful story (the Easter story as told from the perspectives of Peter, Mary Magdalene, Pontius Pilate, and the Centurion). My daughter also sang a solo. All I did was sit in the corner, hitting the play button when needed, and watching in awe as these crazy kids acted in reverence, respect, and love.

When all was said and done, and the kids were in the fellowship hall serving breakfast, I found a moment to sneak back into the sanctuary. It had suddenly hit me during that service that I have a lot to be thankful for. I found myself crying as I sat there in silence... for the fact that God loves me so much he has accepted me as I am, for the fact that one person has taken the time to help lead me back to God and has taken the time to help me understand that I am beloved, for the fact that God has given us all this wonderful gift of salvation, for all those God has sent to me - and for those God has taken back (I love and miss you Brandon and Matthew - Happy Easter), for the family I have been blessed with, and the list goes on.

I'm not going to pretend to understand it all... I'm not going to pretend that everything about Easter is suddenly clear in my eyes and heart. But, I will gladly admit that it does mean something, and I have been truly touched today, and this year, as I have allowed myself to have a closer relationship with my Lord.

God bless each of you.

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