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Easter (Part 2)

March 26, 2008

As any sleep-forsaking group of church-lovers would do… we stuck around for the first of their two normal Easter Sunday services. Well, 5 of us stuck around. Our other visitors from the night watch (a total of about 7 additional people) decided not to embrace insanity and went home to sleep.

Because it was Easter, the church was quite crowded. And Richard and I were a little slow in making it back to the room. (A small group of us had followed Mother Anne back to her office where she invited us to share a baked treat that someone had brought her.) When we sat down, we realized that our little space on the pew was rather crowded. So Richard decided we should just go for it… we sat in the very first row (which, big shock, was still WIDE open).

I actually really enjoyed the experience from the first row. Primary reason? The tulips. The front row allowed for much easier viewing and appreciation of what I think just may be God’s most beautiful flower. Just a few feet in front of us is where the tulips and easter lilies were generously spread in celebration of Jesus’ resurrection.

I also enjoyed the experience of really being up in there and a part of everything that was happening. It was really cool. (And it was perhaps the first time that I would have actually been comfortable with being so near all of the people who actually knew what was going on the whole time.) But… I mostly just stared at the flowers… thanking Jesus for the gift of their presence that Easter morning.

I think there was a huge grin on my face through about 95% of this entire service. I was just happy… inexplicably happy. (Even the growing ache in my face, from excessive happy-facing, did not dim my elation.)

The biggest highlight of the whole service took place near the beginning. We actually sang the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah. (What a beautiful piece of music!) Of course… I didn’t sing much of it. I just stood there with my eyes closed and a huge smile on my face, enjoying God and enjoying His people.

We also sang “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” in both services. I was singing it all day on Easter Sunday and the thing is still stuck in my head! Praise the Lord… He is risen indeed.

Another highlight of Easter Sunday – trumpets. I enjoyed them… when I wasn’t singing. (They were great during the musical pieces when no one was singing… and I even thought they were a nice touch during the hallelujah chorus. But a few wrong notes and my general distaste for trumpets made them really throw me off the rest of the time. But I still had that crazy joyful smile plastered on my face. Even trumpets couldn’t take the joy of Easter Sunday away from me.)

All of Sunday morning was amazing. Until the final fulfillment of all God’s promises… until the trumpet (which I’m sure I’ll appreciate) sounds and the whole church gathers together to meet Him in the sky, I don’t know if any church experience will ever quite compare to the celebration of Easter. (But, by all means, Lord… bring it on! Surprise me!)

Oh what a beautiful day that will be. He is, after all, only the firstborn from the dead. That’s what makes all of this so exciting. Praise the Lord!

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