I love Easter. Since I became a Christian 12 years ago Easter has held so much more meaning to me than just plastic eggs filled with candy. When I lived at the VA in Topeka, Kansas doing my music therapy internship I was the accompanist at a Methodist church and took part in their Ash Wedesday, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday services. I'm not much of a denominationalist, a word I think I just made up, as I am as some of my friends have on their Facebook accounts a "Jesus Luva'." Love that. But it was fun to experience the structure of the Methodist church that Easter. It was especially fun to go through the Wendy's drive-through with a cross ashed into my forehead.
Before I had a church home I visited other churches on Easter. Just for fun, let's see - somewhere in Cali when I was a kiddo, Collegiate Presbyterian Church in Iowa, Cathedral of Praise in South Carolina, a random church I visited in Colorado, Timberland Church in Colorado, and Otterbein United Methodist in Kansas. Since then I have spent the last 9 Easters at Hyde Park Baptist Church in Austin, Texas where I have been a member for about as long. Amazing. I can't believe I've lived in Austin for that long for one, and I can't believe I've been a member of the same church for that many years!
So today was a Palm Sunday service where we heard about all of the pomp and circumstance under which Jesus entered Jerusalem less than a week before He was crucified. How amazing is this? He prances into town on a smelly, dirty, donkey, as humble as can be, and receives a hero's welcome! Less than one week later he is hanging on the cross dying a criminal's death. No one stepped in to try to save him, his own very best friends denied they even knew him, and he was mercilessly tortured for hours upon hours. Where were his loyal subjects then?
What the heck does this have to do with me in the 21st century? Well for one thing, it's easy for me in my human failings to praise God on a Sunday and ignore him on a Tuesday. When I put other things like television and internet before time with Him, I'm not declaring my unending love for him like I promised I would on Sunday morning as I sang in the God-blessed HPBC Exaltation Choir. I'm not trying to be impossible on myself expecting that I should be praising God every minute of every day, although in heaven I will! I am so thankful that God found me worthy enough in Christ, not because I'm all that but because Jesus is all that, that I still receive His eternal blessings. And let me tell you, I have been blessed. Yes, even before we had children, before I had Randy, before I was even born, I have been blessed.
I was going to blog about the after-church activities, but I think I won't today. I missed Ash Wednesday somehow, it slipped right past me. But I think I'll chronicle my thoughts about the rest of this week's big events - Good Friday and praise God, Easter Sunday. So if you're interested in these kinds of things, stay tuned. If you're not, stay tuned anyway. It's fun here.