Sunday, April 23, 2006

Home for Easter

What are your memories? Large family get-togethers? Grandpa carving the ham? Teasing uncles and doting aunts? Girl cousins in fancy dresses? Boy cousins in grass-stained suites? My family Easter memories encompassed all of these and more...oh yea, and we went to church in the morning.

But this Easter was different. This Easter was spent with another family. A family whom I am only beginning to know. A family made up of all different backgrounds, all different last names, and no common grandparent to join us and bring us together. So what is the common ground on which we call each other "family?" That common ground is Christ and that family is the body, the bride of Him who died and rose again. This Easter, we spent at church.

It was "coincidence" that the potluck happened to fall upon Easter Sunday: a pastoral candidate was preaching that week and the church members wanted to hold a potluck to get to know him and his family. I, however, was glad to hear our celebration of the Ressurection would be extended into the afternoon. I would miss the traditional family's get-together...something always enjoyable...but this was fitting. It just seemed right.

Let me back up six months. You remember the season...Christmas? You know...the other major "Jesus" holiday? Well, 'tis the season for traditions. We all strive for great memorable traditions which, we hope, our children would feel a loss without. Unfortunately it appeared as though, for some, these traditions were headed full speed towards another tradition: one would have to budge. You see, this year Christmas fell on a Sunday. The issue hadn't arrisen for 7 or so years. People began to complain: "Christmas won't be the same without our Christmas Morning traditions." SO...for many was canceled. What followed was a colision of blog opinions, sermon explanations and even media coverage. Most bloggers seemed outraged at the thought of actually canceling church; pastors attemped to justify their decision by claiming they heard from God on the matter, and the outside world attempted to understand why on earth Christians would cancel their religious gathering on one of the most religious days of the year.

Well, on that Christmas day as our family gathered together for Morning Worship, I realized what a delight it was to spend time celebrating the birth of our Savior together as His bride. And since that occasion, I have more fully appreciated the family of believers. That is the background for my excitement to prolong our Easter celebration together as a church family.

This is all very new to me. I have never felt this close to a circle of believers. Perhaps this comes from a new understanding of the covenental body...perhaps it is a new attitude on my part. I don't know, but one thing I am sure of:

When celebrating the wonderous events in Christianity, there is "no place like home."

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