Sunday, April 12, 2009

Not my usual Easter celebration


Today is a great day! This is a day that many believe is an opportunity to begin a new chapter, a rebirth if you will, because it is Easter Day. We once again have an opportunity to reflect on our good fortune to have a love that paid the ransom for our wretched selves. This love also allows us to love one another and to forgive. Easter is a happy time, a time to worship, a time of thanksgiving and to celebrate the risen Lord. We celebrate the ascension that makes us free, giving us everlasting life everlasting, if we choose. Unfortunately my Easter worship celebration was not what I expected it to be but the rest of the day was good.

I always love to go to church on the 'high holy days' of the Christian calendar. Today we celebrate Easter. Easter Sunday is a happy time to me. I love the celebrations, the great hymns, the fancy clothes and hats and crowded pews in church. Most of all I love the celebratory hymns on Easter morn. They are so powerful and wonderful! I always leave church singing and dancing with the songs in my heart. The message and songs also frame my mood and is my inspiration for the week. This is a usual weekly occurrence for me anyways but these special days are indelible in my being and reminiscent of my youth. Back in the day, Sundays and holidays were special. They were all about church, bible stories and reverence. Not to mention the fancy Easter dresses and Easter bonnets, and Easter egg hunts and afternoons of special dinners and good ole fun with my sisters, neighbors and other relatives. I have some fond and cherished memories. Throughout the years I’ve tried to replicate this for my children and they have come to appreciate these traditions.

We went to a local neighborhood church today to celebrate this Easter Day. We decided to go there because we wanted to connect with the local church instead of travel to our old church across town. This church was a 5 minute stroll which is very attractive compared to the 40 minute cross-town ride. We'd been to this church before but never felt the 'connection'. I think we visited this church twice about a year ago. I enjoyed the service and thought that it was a little different but ok, we thought we could fit in easily. The message today was a good one. Of course it's the familiar scripture. The delivery was good and the message was strong. The mood was low keyed, almost somber and the energy was low. The Lenten season is sad and a low period for Christians but this day, Easter Sunday is NOT!

I certainly missed the high energy, joyous and happy feeling I am accustomed to on Easter Day. The joy in people’s faces and the happiness in their voices, the sounds from the organ guest musicians and the choir, the robust singing from the congregation, the colors and fashions, the flowers of my old church were not there. I think that these icons add to the completeness and the satisfaction of the worship and the fellowship. I certainly missed that today.

I was very disappointed about the music. Don't get me wrong. They had a choir and they were very good. The selections were not the soul stirring or moving or the traditional hymns of the season. The singing in the chapel was not as boisterous and melodious but everyone seemed engaged. What a let down to my Easter celebration. The final hymn was one of the Easter faves but the tune and the production was so-so. We sauntered out of the church feeling blessed; understanding and reflecting on the resurrection, the importance in our lives, the value of fellowship and our obligation but I was not as inspired and charged up for the world or the week, as usual. The music left us under whelmed.

I am thankful for the opportunity to worship and to get to church with a 5 minute walk but I guess there is a lot to be said about tradition and celebrations. Tradition in the value that we place on the experience and the expected activities associated with the event. The celebration in the acceptance of the message, the expressions of feelings of joy and appreciation that we see in each other and the spirituality shared. This group, I guess has a different tradition and a different appreciation. I guess the moral here is, if it aint broke don’t fix it, or perhaps be open and unassuming when you are in a new situation because it may conflict with the norm and sensibilities and kill the moment for you. We could also see this experience as not to try new things when the stakes are high, it’s better to work up to it on ‘off days’. We should try to enjoy and appreciate things but this wasn’t one to risk.

Anyway I am very happy that HE is risen and HE paid my ransom. I am happy knowing that and will rejoice in my traditional way. Celebrate and remember, He lives!.

Happy Easter every one!

1 comment:

meggie said...

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