If there were ever a case to be made for pre-destination I could be the poster child. Baptized as an infant in water mingled with water from the Jordan river, in the choir loft at 5 days old, attended my first sunrise service at 2 months old, wrapped in a blanket and sleeper, carried by my mother over a stone wall into a field. Quite literally I stood at my mother’s side as she wrote human-interest stories for the local newspaper and beneath her microphone, holding my little guitar as we performed as a family on stage. Is there any wonder I am who I am, and do what I do?
I have to admit; Easter is one, if not the one holiday I love the most. Christmas is wonderful as it is a time of family, but Easter is glorious for me. I have wonderful memories and impressions surrounding this holiday, and Easter is simply not Easter to me without a sunrise service, breakfast and a music filled morning service. I don’t remember my first sunrise service, however I have many memories of other ones as I was growing up. My father, being the youth group leader, was intricately involved with the development, implementation of the service and following breakfast at the church, as both were the responsibilities of the youth group. Often after breakfast my parents and I would return home, were I was treated to hunting for the Easter eggs the bunny had meticulously hidden. I ran around the yard seeking the eggs I had colored earlier in the week; finding them nestled in carefully constructed nests of fallen leaves on the bumper of the camper, in the crotch of tree limbs, in the window boxes, on the wood pile, in the flower bed. We always colored a dozen or two, so we could keep count of how many were found. As careful as the bunny was there was one year an egg was not found until the summer, when it permeated the back patio with the stench of the dead.
Fond memories of my grandmother also surface this time of year, for she often sang solos on Palm Sunday and/or Easter, and if she didn’t, my mother did. I am stirred by the words and music of “The Palms,” “The Holy City,” and “Christ the Lord is Risen today.” To this day I can hear her voice raised in praise with the words “I know my redeemer liveth!” I find nothing more stirring then an organ, rumbling the pews; inspiring the congregants.
Why do I share all of this? Well, I’ve been thinking an awful lot about why I have gotten so excited about having the honor of leading worship this Easter weekend at my church. It’s in my blood, my nature, my upbringing; my parents made certain, this holiday was special. I want to encourage you to make some memories this year, where will you be this weekend? Will you be hunting eggs hidden by a bunny, stuffing yourself with chocolate or will you be basking in the glory of the risen Christ? I hope the latter, with the egg hunting and chocolate gorging following. Regardless of whether you have new clothes or not, gather with others this Sunday and celebrate. Remember, it was just another day as far as the three women were concerned when they went to the tomb; it was only after meeting the risen LORD, were their lives changed for eternity. He is Risen Indeed!