Monday, March 24, 2008

oh, happy day

Growing up, Easter was a nice holiday, but not one that stood out from among the rest. Since I've moved to Minneapolis, however, it has become my favorite holiday. What changed? I started going to a church that had a Good Friday service.
It's a somber and quiet service, with the lights dimmed. Interspersed with meditation, worship, and reflection in between, four different readers narrate the crucifixion events. Then Rick (our pastor) reads his own rendering of the crucifixion. Throughout the service, people can walk to the front and take communion when they feel prepared to do so. At the end, people leave when they're ready, not talking until they're out of the room. It's a very sobering, even sad, service.
But I find that taking all that time to meditate on why Jesus died makes me so ready to rejoice on Easter Sunday. Because I know what it cost Jesus to die, I am so much more aware of how glorious it is that He was raised. His resurrection makes my future in heaven--and my mom's presence there right now--possible. It makes it possible for me to live life in joy and peace with God. It makes me want to rejoice..and so does everyone else.
Oh, happy day, happy day
When you washed my sins away
Oh, happy day, happy day
I'll never be the same

After church, we had lunch with a group of 44 (yes, you read that right) people at one of our pastors' little houses. City houses are not big, nor was this one. I was skeptical that we would be able to move, much less enjoy ourselves. But we did. The kids were great, and we had a fun and relaxing time celebrating.

the toddlers' table
notice that Chad is wearing a black velvet jacket :)
more revellers
the girls' table
no, Claire isn't that big yet....this is Hazel

family Easter picture... too bad it was taken at the end of the day when Isaac's pants were gone... :/
Claire in her first ever dress (Vance said, "it took 15 minutes to get all that stuff on her!"). She was very popular at church that day....I only got to hold her for about 5 seconds before a whole string of people whisked her away.

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