Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen Indeed! and Merry Christmas...

Hello there...

just popping my head in quickly to wish you all a very Happy Easter (even if it is in the evening, and Easter is almost over). I am completely and utterly exhausted from all of our Easter festivities here in Wonderland. We had a full day of church attending, last-minute asparagus cooking, eating lunch with family and new friends, Easter egg-hunting, a little bit of soccer playing, kite-flying, remote control-airplane flying, trying our hands at a game of horseshoes, dessert-eating, chatting, and nap-taking. (See, aren't you exhausted just from reading our list of festivities?!)

I love Easter, and this one was yet another great day. Our pastor gave a fantastic sermon, urging the congregation to start off on a journey of reading through all of the "red letters" in the Gospels -- reading through all of Jesus' teachings and really trying to follow His commandments, moreso than most of us might truly be making the effort to normally. He used the example of a book that came out this past year by A.J. Jacobs (The Year of Living Biblically -- if you haven't read it, it is pretty enlightening and very funny in parts). To sum it up, an atheist decided to tackle the job of trying to (literally) follow all of the commandments in the Bible for 12 months, something that is really humanly impossible, but our pastor's point was this -- if this guy, who is a declared atheist and doesn't even have a relationship with Christ, can devote a year of his life to living passionately in the attempts of trying to follow and obey God, then why don't we as Christians, people who openly are declaring our love for Christ to the rest of the world, show the same passion in trying to obey Him and His teachings? The pastor made a very good observation in my opinion, and I am personally going to try my humble best at this "Red Letter Experiment" for the next 12 weeks. What a great Easter sermon, not only a time to reflect on Christ's great love for us and the sacrifice He made, but also a much-needed kick-in-the-pants reminder of how, if we truly love Christ as we say we do, we need to be obeying Him and keeping His commandments.

Of course, one of my favorite things about Easter Sunday at church is the phrase we all say: "He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!". I love that part every single year. This year our pastor added a little something funny -- he said that a former pastor of our church would also add in "Merry Christmas!" at the end of his invitation, since many folks won't darken the door of church again until Christmas rolls around...:)

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