Tuesday, April 10, 2007

A Happy Easter

Easter Sunday is rather a mob scene at our church. The parking lot is full, as are nearby parking lots and on-street parking. If you're patient and don't mind idling your car for a few minutes, you can probably circle, vulture-like, and get a reasonably close spot between services.

We had talked about riding our bicycles, but one of our teens wanted to wear a skirt and no, bicycling in a skirt was a non-starter as far as she was concerned. How long would it take to walk? Too long.

But! If you take about a mile off the walk, by taking the train from Atherton to the Menlo Park station, well, it's only a mile shorter, but it breaks up the walk and you feel like you can do it. So we started off, about 40 minutes before the train was due.

Within the first block, though, I realized that I had forgotten to bring my checkbook. We also had a special envelope for the Easter offering -- a special gift to fund service projects: construction, landscaping, painting at a school for under-resourced children, AIDS caregiver kits, and the like. I ran home, looked (in vain) for the special envelope, found the checkbook, then got on my bicycle. Good thing I did, too, but I'm getting ahead of myself.

We got to church without incident and heard a great sermon on the theme of "the third day." One day, the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant and put it in the temple of one of their gods; on the second day, their god was fallen down before the Ark, so they righted it. On the third day, their god had its head and hands broken off, and again it was fallen down before the Ark.

Jonah was swallowed by a big fish, and on the third day was spit up onto the beach. And so on throughout the Bible, from Exodus onward. And of course, on the third day, the women went to the tomb, and Jesus's body was not there, and soon afterward, a bunch of terrorized, mostly uneducated, scattered followers of Jesus became this powerful force that turned the world upside-down... all because Jesus was alive on the third day after they killed him.

Anybody could have stopped that movement dead in its tracks by just finding his body, but it was nowhere to be found. "He is not here; he is risen."

What a great message! There was a great "modern hymn," titled In Christ Alone -- sounds like a hymn but was written in this century. The organ postlude was great, too.

We walked over to the Menlo Park Caltrain depot, and the girls' sandal-clad feet were unhappy with the day's walking. I bicycled home, fetched the car, and met them at Atherton.

For dinner, Michelle came over. Carol roasted a lamb leg (for once, somebody else was cooking lamb in our house!) and made lemon squares for dessert. Jenny made some mashed potatoes. I made a spinach salad. Sheri set the table.

We enjoyed our fellowship over dinner. The lamb sure tasted good. So did the lemon squares.

It was a day of joy and celebration and remembrance. I hope yours was, too.

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