I love Easter. I love the joy of knowing that my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ conquered death, that a grave could not hold Him, that a stone could not stop Him. His resurrection is what sets Him apart from all others throughout history, from all those who have claimed to be "the way." I love celebrating Him and again being in awe of His power and greatness...and His love for me.
Additionally, I have great childhood memories of Easter. I remember waking up early every year and bustling about the house to put on a new dress and being allowed to wear the special white Easter hat. I remember hurrying to the car and racing the sun in order to attend the Easter Sunrise service (before we had even had a chance to hunt for chocolate filled Easter eggs, though I think my brother secretly made note of where they were all hidden). I remember shuffling in late to the service and squeezing into a pew that was likely in the front (so everyone would see us arrive late). And, I remember joining in choruses of "He Arose" and "In the Garden." I remember the sunshine breaking through the stained glass windows and an inexpressible joy filling my heart. I remember big breakfasts and fellowship following the service, and I remember preparing for the "regular" service. For many years, the church in which I grew up has had a tradition of transforming an ugly wooden cross into a beautiful living cross by placing flowers on the cross (which has been covered in chicken wire). Every year it is breathtakingly beautiful. Every year it is new. Every year it is filled with color. Every year it reminds me of the transformed life I have in Christ.
For the last few years I have been in Cambodia for Easter, and unfortunately, for the last two years I was not able to do much special to celebrate. The first year I spent the day on a bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, and the second year I was helping a friend with an emergency situation. But, this year I was intentional about my Easter celebration. I rose early to go for a run with a friend and watch the sun rise over the city. I went to church and celebrated with my brothers and sisters, and then I went out to lunch with some good friends. But, the best part of all is that I was able to "tune in" via Skype to the Easter service in Argos and watch the cross's transformation. What a gift and a great reminder!
Thanks for letting me join in the celebration of the transformation!