Easter has taken on new meaning for me and my children. It has become a precious & JOYous occasion. I know a number of my readers are LDS, so I thought I would share our weekend, and explain how Easter is celebrated in the Christian Church. First of all the entire focus on this prior week is on Jesus. Starting with Thursday night, our church fellowship met together for the breaking of bread , in memory of the last supper. We gathered together and sat around the table and parted bread and drank the fruit of the vine... children and parents.... the elderly, the young and the 'in between." :) There were friends there as well, who do not attend our particular church, but are believers and share in our common love & adoration of our Lord... thus they too are 'welcomed' to partake with us. The Lord's supper ( or communion as it is called in some churches) is for believers who have unabashedly given their lives to the King of Kings. Denomination is not a barrier for partaking at the table ...... this is a time we lay down our denominational titles and are unified in our common belief that Jesus is Lord and that eternal life is thru Jesus. It was beautiful and how proper that we should partake of the bread & wine ( or grape juice) on that day of all days. My pastor then read from the Word about the washing of feet, and how we should all have a servant's heart and wash the feet of others......we then spent the rest of the evening "washing feet" at the local nursing home. Our little church loves going and visiting the widows there. Usually we just pray with them, sing a few songs and just love on them. Many of them suffer from dementia and senility, so it can be heartbreaking.
This last time we went, we met a precious woman named "Virginia". She is in her 90's and really very spry. She is there because Virginia has no living family and is unable to care for her home and farm. After we sang a few verses of Amazing Grace, I asked her if she "knew the Lord".. her response was so sweet: " Oh yes, I sure do! I'll never forget the day my husband and I knelt down at the altar and gave our lives to the lord at that revival"...... she wept when she recounted that event......... we prayed with virginia and asked the Lord to bless the last days and years of her life -- she longs to be "home" with her Lord. What a blessing it was to visit with Virginia. She blessed our heart so!
Friday night, the youth were invited to view " The Passion". Sunday we enjoyed a lovely breakfast prepared by the men of our church, and then worship services. All I can say about this is OH MY! How wonderful it was to celebrate and rejoice in the fact that our Lord overcome sin and death for us! We clapped, we sang, we shouted Hallelujah -- oh how we rejoiced!!! I invited a few families who were LDS and they too so enjoyed the joyful service!! How precious it is to fellowship with others who also adore and love Jesus. We enjoyed a full morning, and didn't realize it was nearly 1 pm when we all piled into the car!! We had enjoyed a "full feast"..... not just physically with wonderful food, but spiritually! Oh my!
I came home with the kids and we enjoyed an "egg hunt". Plastic eggs filled with little strips of scripture, about the resurrection. I made our traditional Resurrection cake -- a cake shaped as a cross, with " He is Risen" written on it. ( this year's cake was carrot and cream cheese frosting, yum!) We ended our evening singing praises to God and just feeling SO FULL of JOY!
I know many Churches enjoy sunrise services and celebrations too. My friend that lives in New Zealand, enjoyed a lovely sunrise service on the beach! Can you imagine?!! Christians all over the world yesterday were praising God and shouting HALLELUJAH!!!
My husband who remains LDS did not attend our Easter Service. His church held a "stake conference" where he was told by his leaders that they don't need "Easter" . ( that is his words he told me ) I was so sad when I heard this. It just broke my heart. Apparently they told the LDS that they remember Jesus every Sunday, not just Easter. I agree that we should remember Jesus every single day, but Easter is a day among days! A day to remember what our Lord and Savior has done for us! A day to rejoice!! It broke my heart that my husband did not experience the joy and celebration that we did that morning. Can't they hold Conference another Sunday? Why do they have to take away from the day -- it's Jesus' day -- not a day to hold a church conference. ( they just did that last weekend for 10 hours!)
I know many LDS may never have experienced a traditional Easter service, so I just wanted to give you a peek into what Easter may entail for many of us as believers.
It is a time to reflect, to ponder our Lord's atonement at Calvary and a time to remember that HE DID OVERCOME death & Sin. Because our Lord paid the price for my sins -- I will live eternally with God, because the Lord overcome physical death -- I will too will be resurrected. I don't know about you all, but that is something work celebrating to me!!!!!!
The greatest gift of all -- was given to us over 2000 yrs ago during the passover season.......Jesus truly is our passover Lamb. As believers we use the term " Easter" ..... doing a little research I found out that Easter means = passover in Latin. That is so cool! So it is an appropriate thing to say we celebrate Easter! Jesus our passover lamb, was given for us -- and He truly did overcome Sin & Death! Hallelujah!
When I was LDS , I never recall experiencing the JOY of the Easter Season or the solemnity of Good Friday...... there were no special Good Friday Services held, no special "parting of bread" on Thursday, prior to Easter Sunday..... and no celebrating on Easter Sunday. Other than for a few Easter Hymns and a few talks given by members of the congregation - that was the extent of it. It was really "business as usual"... a Sunday like any other, but with a few Easter hymns sprinkled in. There was no celebrating. No Joy. I think back to all those years and realize how much I missed out on.... but at the same time I am all the more grateful for the JOY I have now in Christ. I feel sorry for my husband who didn't get to experience the worship and the celebration.
My heart aches for my LDS friends and loved ones. I so long for them to partake of that feast the Lord offers us..... He IS living waters and He IS the bread of life -- He that drinketh of those waters and eats that bread shall never go hungry or thirsty.
When I was LDS I always felt hungry........ I always was starving ....... desperately wanting to experience that "fullness of JOY" that was always promised........
Now, I have it.
Jesus gave it to me.
Now, I have that JOY ..... and it's is more than I ever imagined it to be!