Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter highlights

This long Easter holiday weekend has been a good one for me and my family. Here's what stands out most in my mind:

Maundy Thursday ... Foot washing. My Pastor arranged ahead of time for 3 people to come forward and have their feet washed. It bothered me to see my Pastor, who is such a casual, unpretentious guy, washing the feet of his parishioners. Then I thought about Jesus washing his disciples' feet. I could understand Peter saying, "No way are you washing my feet, Lord!" It helped me to have a renewed understanding or experience of Jesus taking on the role of servant. And it caused me to stop and consider my tendency to resist the Lord on the basis or the assumption that I am not worth his consideration; that surely he has better things to do; that I shouldn't bother him. (Actually, this is really hard to put into words ... I've been staring at the screen for a few minutes now trying to understand it.)

Good Friday ... watching The Passion of the Christ with my husband and 2 younger children. It wasn't just watching it ... it was watching my kids watching it. During the scourging scene, my 10 year old son was visibly upset (he is tender hearted and besides, it's pretty brutal). I pulled him into my lap and started reminding him what the Word says. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep... I lay down my life and I will take it up again.... No one takes it from me, but I lay it down..." Helping him to understand that Jesus was in control, that he chose to lay down his life because he loved us, helped my son to watch and feel thankful and humbled instead of frightened and ashamed. The focus went from "How could they do that to him (which is still a legitimate question) ..." to "He did that for me...."

Holy Saturday ... Enjoying God's creation during my morning run and "yard work therapy," dying Easter eggs with our children in peace (they really are getting older).

Easter Sunday ... Helping to serve communion in the 9 a.m. service (although I left a larger trail of bread crumbs than Hansel and Gretel). I love the service of Holy Communion. I love being able to look into the eyes of my church members, and remind them, "Mary, this is the body of Christ, broken for you." It is just so powerful to me.

Listening to my Pastor's sermon, thinking "huh???" in one particular part, and then being able to hear it again in the 11 a.m. service, searching for clarity. (I think I have resolved the troublesome portion, with my husband's thoughts on the matter, but I'll likely take it up with him anyway.)

Having my brother and his two boys come to church. It felt good. I showed him off like a prized possession. I mouthed to those around me, "My brother!" I even told the rehab ladies when I was driving them back, "Did you see that cute blond sitting next to me? That was my big brother!" (You blushing, bro?)

Watching my nephews hunt Easter eggs. My husband and kids hid the eggs for my nephews, age 4 1/2 and 2 1/2. They ran all over our yard, laughing and announcing gleefully, "I got one! I got one!" And then, "I wanna hunt again!!" Their joyful innocence was beautiful.

Relaxing. My goodness, is this what Sunday is supposed to be like? What a gentle blessing.

What a glorious weekend.

Thank you, Father.

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