Easter has finally arrived! Christ is Indeed Risen!
It has been a long journey through Lent this year, and so I welcome Easter with open arms, an open heart, and open eyes to see and hear and experience all that the Risen Christ has to offer us.
Saturday afternoon I was fortunate enough to have a lovely meeting for coffee with a long-lost Australian friend who is studying abroad in DC (and is in Chicago on Spring Break). Our time was far too brief, but it was nice to have the short time we did to catch up and share in the simple gift of one another's presence.I had to cut our time together short when I decided to go to the Easter Vigil at the Chicago Temple (a United Methodist Church downtown). I had been told what a beautiful service they have, and that it would be well worth my time to check it out. So I went- and was relieved to be celebrating the risen Christ long before our morning services the next day! The service was nice... but felt a bit like a marathon as they rushed through it to get through the entire service in only 50 minutes. I have never heard prayers, sermons, or Scriptures read so fast in all of my life! Fortunately, I ran into my friend Kristin there, so we were able to share in the service together, which made it a much more blessed experience.
Sunday morning was beautiful. Easter MUST be the BEST day to work in a church and go to both services! The music, worship, proclamations and praising of God were overwhelmingly beautiful and joyful! Both services were full, too, which made the experience all the more rich. There is nothing like a full house of clapping, dancing and singing for the glory of God to start off a morning!
Complete with new members and flying water (or pitchers of water during the Hallelujah Chorus!) that we might remember our Baptisms, Easter is indeed a day of celebration. I hope that this is only the beginning of many celebrations to come, though. For yesterday was only the first day of this new season, the day which we celebrate the Risen Christ... but we as Christians are called to celebrate this every week. Therefore, I hope we can remember, as Laurence Stookey reminds us, that it is not that "Every Sunday is a mini Easter," but that "Every Easter is a Great Sunday."
Let us remember to proclaim with boldness, then, the great news that Christ is Risen! Christ is Risen, Indeed! Hallelujah! Amen.