I’m currently sitting in our family room…
Ellie is in her pyjamas playing with Lego, strollers, ponies…still rocking her afro.
Becca is resting on the couch after a full week of singing her heart out during our easter presentation. Her rest (along with the other volunteers and staff who served) is MORE than deserved! Now her an Ellie are cuddling on the couch reading about God’s creation. It’s a beautiful scene. Later today we’re going to the park for Ellie’s first Easter Egg hunt. I love my family!
And I’m here with my coffee in a state of beautiful contemplation. This Easter has been so…moving. Here are some of my thoughts, observations and experiences based on the Easter month, especially the last week.
- Today is the day after the resurrection. It’s the first day of the work week but the 2nd day of the actual week. Jesus’ resurrection starts a new week for us. It signified that he was and is making all things new. We can move forward in a different direction from where we going. The playing field changed on Good Friday. The scope was borderline depressing on Saturday. The game was WIDE OPEN and winning on Sunday. And we live in that victory. I can be better.
- I heart my church. I would hate to miss Good Friday service or Easter Sunday at APC. Pastor Keith says (and I agree) that our church has a great Christology. It’s true. Because of that, the Good Friday service is more than a memorial service with hymns and Easter Sunday is more than a party. They are, instead, true reflections of the redemptive work of Jesus through song, teaching and community among all ethnicities and generations. Every thing is so genuine…so when people have that moment of jubilant praise on Easter Sunday, you know it’s not a put on. It’s real, from the heart, from the soul. It’s a real THANK YOU JESUS moment. I wouldn’t want to celebrate it anywhere else.
- We sang ‘Glorious’ by Paul Baloche at our Sunday Morning services. I only got through half of it at the 9 am and through the first line at the 11 AM before a wave of sincere emotion hit me. And in those moments, I learned this: I am a UGLY crier. Oh man…the joy of the resurrection hit me deeply and brought out tears of joy…that sounded like grossness wrapped in ‘oh man…’. I need to meet a good guy-crier and learn how to do it right:) It was a really powerful moment for me. Hearing close to 1300 people sing ‘Look beyond the tombstone/see the living God/see the resurrected/ruler of my heart’ in unison will always give me goosebumps.
- Okay, enough weepy stuff! Something that was fun: I got to do a walk-on during our worship times to lead ‘Happy Day’. It went like this: Dr. Van Johnson led ‘You Have Saved Us’, then i walk out, lead Happy Day (and hit the high note), then leave. It was a lot of fun. The joy in the room was enough to make the most unhappy person do a two-step. I do know however, though it went unsaid, that I was asked to do the song cause my friend Dr. Van doesn’t like doing that high note, so I take it with a grain of salt:) It was still fun though and I appreciate the invite from my friend (and if you know me, you know HOW MUCH I love SNL-type walk-ons. I’m just trying to get to that Saj McKenley-status. Don’t worry, it’s all love!)!
- Ellie is a doll. On the way home from our presentation on Friday night, her and Becca had a great chat about Jesus, where our daughter proclaimed that Jesus loved her, and mommy. apparently, He’s still on the fence about Daddy. On Sunday following our Easter Sunday service, she came home singing the Hallelujah chorus and Happy Day and saying Jesus is alive. I love that even at two, Jesus can impact a life! And I’m thankful for a church that mixes the traditional (The Hallelujah Chorus) with the older (My Redeemer Lives) and the new (You Have Saved Us)! She is also really stinkin’ cute, rocking her afro and red (and or pink) Converse shoes and leading the annual Worship march.
- I am so proud of our church staff and volunteers who put their lives on pause to be in our Easter presentation. After practicing for months, they literally took 7 days to pour into our church and share about Jesus in a creative way. I get to say, “I work with THEM!” I’d get specific with names but then I’d forget one person, they’d read it and then I’d be that guy who only remembers SOME and NOT all:) So to all of you, thank you for your tireless work, efforts and ministry. We’re all proud of you! And Muse is great.
- Our Wednesday night Journey to The Cross XP was amazing. Over 200 people came through the interactive stations to walk through Jesus’ last week. Hearing the response let me know that we did something special.
- My wife is amazing. Even with a bad cold, she killed her song (with Andre) every single time. I have known her for 10 years and have heard her sing enough for 20, yet I never heard her like that before. It was amazing each time, with something new added (a run, an ad-lid, etc.). Specific thanks go to my friends Kent and Maria for choosing her and being great support to her during her stay with the awesome chorale. The vocals were so tight!!! And in the midst of performing, she was still a great wife and mom, even making an amazing Easter Sunday roast!
- The entire Easter week is a heart trip once you step into the actual narrative. 8 days filled with the following: praise, a parade, palm branches, psalm quotes, turning over tables, arguments, frustrations, goodbyes, betrayals, lies, fulfilled scriptural prophecies concerning Jesus, political intrigue, religious posturing, illegal trials, loneliness, pain, anguish, abuse, prayer, a cross, loss, death, victory-IN-death, doubt, questions, fear, surprise, life, change, strength and victory-IN-LIFE! And there is so much more to it…the story is so rich and deep, moving and strong, exclusive yet amazingly personal.
- I love new friendships and strengthening old ones. Easter puts things in new perspective. If I have a ‘beef’ in light of the resurrection, I’m a dummy. I need to make things right and do right and honor what’s been given for me. Jesus didn’t die so I can ignore people. That’s a waste of the best life ever.
- I got to lead a song with my daughter on my arm. And no one thought anything by it. I heart my church. Did I say that already?
- Lastly, our Easter play (whose main theme is always redemption) is FILLED with people who have been REDEEMED! It’s awesome to see people who were in Alpha a year prior out of our presentation now acting and sharing in the story this year. Thank you God.
So that was Easter for me. But it’s not over! We live on this side of the Resurrection now! And Easter is like the church’s Happy New Year moment! It’s all summed up in this tweet I saw and then stole (while giving credit to its author):