Happy Easter Monday.Â He is risen indeed!
The way I remember it, as a child, every Easter Sunday there would be a kind of pep rally between the pastor and the congregation.Â He would say, “He is risen!” and we would shout back, “He is risen indeed!”Â and this would go back and forth many times until the pastor shouted, “HALELUJIA!”Â and the whole building would erupt into a noisy and unordered few minutes of clapping and shouting.Â Every year we all expected it.Â And I would bet money that in that same church it happened yesterday too.Â It makes me smile to recount this to you.Â I think that’s exactly how it should be on Easter.
This year Easter was different for us.Â It was quieter.Â Less formal (no new Easter clothes).Â We went to church with maybe 5-10 adult Christians and a handful of half dressed kiddos.Â Daniel preached an awesome, and somewhat basic message.Â It covered sin -back to Adam and Eve- and the cross.Â It was beautiful, and exactly the kind of review we all needed.Â For some, I think, maybe it wasn’t a review at all.Â Instead of eating ham, we went out for Lebanese food at lunch, had a good nap, ate spaghetti with friends for dinner, and read the Easter story to Sam and Nata before bed.Â And the celebration continued today.Â Easter Monday is a national holiday here with no work or school.Â There were church services in the morning and evening.Â Although we didn’t attend these services, we really enjoyed an extra day of r&r.
I think this was my first Easter with no Easter baskets. And I wasn’t sad about that at all.Â I remembered this afternoon that I have some die in the back of a closet somewhere that I was saving for Easter eggs.Â Then I remembered that they only eggs I’ve seen here are brown.Â How would that look?Â We finished the last of the pastel colored M&Ms this weekend.Â They were brought out by Dave’s parents.Â Sam also hunted for plastic eggs with his grandparents before they left three weeks ago. Upon finding them, he put them in a leftover biscotti container.Â :)Â And that’s about as commercial as it got.
I love that.
I have spent the last 7 weeks doing an in depth study of the tabernacle.Â It has been opening new doors to me in my understanding of the sacrifice that Christ made for us on the cross.
1 John 2:1Â Â My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.Â But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense- Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.
I’m so struck by that.Â Not only did God send his son to suffer and die on a cross for my sins (and I have some every day favorites).Â Christ also sits at the right hand of God interceding on my behalf.Â What love is this?Â He wants us to get it so badly.Â By it I mean a life overflowing with the fruit of his love.Â A joy that is not dependent on circumstance or monetary blessing.Â A peace that surpasses understanding.Â Do I really have that?Â Is it honestly evident in my every day interactions with my family and my peers?
John 15Â No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.Â Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.Â I am the vine; you are the branches.Â If a man remains in me and i in him, he will bear much fruit.
That is his desire for us.Â And that is what my Easter has been all about.
Bunnies and ducklings are so boring compared to that.Â Maybe we’ll do Easter baskets next year.