Saturday, April 3, 2010
Times Have Changed -- The Meaning of Easter Has NOT
Today I live in a community where I don't see Easter bonnets and I attend a church where songs such as "Up From the Grave He Arose" are old fashion while the leadership come dressed in blue jeans and casual shirts. By trying hard to not be traditional, how well we establish new traditions.
Then there is the issue of Easter baskets. I did Easter baskets for my kids until they were far 'past grown' -- the age where I was filling the basket with money or under panties or swimming suits instead of candy. The Pops insisted "this is the last year" for years. Then there were the grandchildren baskets until that last year when grandkids were so big they fought over who saw the egg first-resulting in tears in place of Easter joy. So now we celebrate happy resurrection day without chocolate bunnies. And I leave the dying of eggs and baskets to my grown up children.
However, I'm getting my 'payback' with things I appreciate big time. April, Elijah, Lily and Rosie knocked on our door this morning to clean out our front flower bed and plant my flowers for me. I love flowers but it is getting where I do not enjoy the bending/digging part of the work. So my Easter gift was manual labor. The girls gathered up the fallen sticks from the trees out of the yard while Ken and Elijah cleaned out the blanket of leaves to find hostas already up and hopefully elephant ears on the way. April did the cleaning and arranging while planting the wax begonias. All of this adds much joy to my Resurrection Day celebration. Thank you sweet husband and dear children.
By the time the weekend celebration is done, I will have attended COTM twice, Covenant Church on line streaming and Asbury United Methodist. With five Easter services, COTM had it's largest attendance of 17,000 people. Loud, boisterous, booming songs, an excellent 40 minute sermon about conquering death, and invitation for salvations with a offer to spontaneously come forward for water baptism by being dunked in temporality erected tanks. Six hundred people responded to the water and over a hundred and forty children in KOTM gave their lives to Christ.
At Covenant in Carrollton, the music was of the highest order of worship to God. The pastor on video, greeted us from the empty tomb and then preached in person. It was so touching. Finally, at Asbury, we experience the traditions of our childhood Easter: bell choir, orchestra, robed choir, magestic traditional Easter songs, candles and Easter lilies. What a weekend. Have I convinced anyone that Easter is my favorite holiday?