Monday, March 24, 2008
Well, it has happened once again, we had an opportunity to celebrate the risen Christ once again in tremendous style yesterday. The church was overflowing with people for both services. The music was tremendous- some of my favorites that we sang yesterday included: "Redeemer, Savior, Friend" and "Wonderful, Merciful, Savior." I love to see all the kids dressed up in there Easter best- families matching one another. At second service we had two baptisms- one was a young man who joined the church a couple of weeks ago with his family. They started visiting while Dee was on sabbatical and I am so glad they finally felt it was time to join us in an official way. The other was a 49 year old who came forward to be baptized with very little warning (aren't these kind fun). That is the fourth adult male within the last several years- there is something truly wonderful about when the spirit of God moves an adult to come forward. As Jesus said yesterday, "Jesus is on the loose!" And you never know what wonderful things will happen when that is the case.
Friday night, after a long week of hospitality to others, some hospitality was extended to my husband and I as we went over to the home of some new friends for dinner and Wii playing. It felt great to eat and play and not worry about church for awhile. The company was delightful- and I'm so pleased to have another couple to be friends with- thanks Steve and Stacy! I also loved hanging out with their three kids- and also watching my husband play with them- he's going to be a great dad!
Then on Saturday, Dee and I had the honor of officiating a funeral for a church member of ours. It was a sad one, she died unexpectedly- so Dee and I tried to make the service a celebration of her life as much as possible. I am so grateful for the words of the Psalms- that display the full range of human emotion. I love the way the Psalmist is not afraid to cry out to God. Among other scriptures, we used Psalms 23 and 46- both speak to God's comfort and strength powerfully. All the effort spent and emotional energy was worth it to get a sincere hug from the husband after the service. He said, "You just don't know how much I appreciate it."
On the way home from the grave site, we saw a man plowing his field the old fashioned way. We had to stop and take a picture- and once again appreciate living in rural, Tennessee. That is the picture I share with you at the top of this post.
Even though it is snowing here today, I hope that you are seeing signs of life springing forth all over the place. I hope the resurrection has filled your heart with joy. I for one am ready to leave winter, death and depression behind and turn my heart toward new life. Amen.