I LOVE Easter.
This year we were really involved in the preparations at our church and this only added to the anticipation of this special day. I was involved with the decorations and food set up and Jeremy was leading worship. Yesterday, I joined some other lovely ladies from church in a sunshine-filed back garden where we took out about 1000 white tulips from the buckets they had been stored in, and cut them to fit in glass jars.
Later in the day, we joined many other friends at the gym where we have church to set up for today. We sliced fruit, set up tables with clothes and platters, prepped the pots for tea and coffee making and set up chairs, staging and the decorations, ready for the celebration this morning.
We were at church bright and early, helping where we could with last minute details and ready to worship. There was so much to celebrate. Death could not keep Jhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifesus down, he rose again. Defeating death, and sin, and giving us abundant life!!
He is Risen. He is Risen Indeed!
After the service, we went outside to watch the kids participate in the Easter egg hunt. So sweet to see their smiling faces and hear all the squeals of delight. Watching all these little ones running around gave me a warm feeling when I realised that in a couple of years, we will (God willing) be watching our little guy running around and delighting in the moment as he collects his coloured eggs with all his little friends.
I also love the time to get together with friends and family to share this celebrating together. J and I usually host his family and friends for Easter lunch, and I relish the opportunity to host. J's parents and sister bring parts of the meal too which makes things easier, but we make the ham and some sides. This year, J's parents brought scalloped potatoes and rolls, Carrie brought an amazing fruit salad which has become a holiday fave for the family, and dessert, and with the ham I made quinoa salad with artichokes and parsley, and Asparagus with balsamic tomatoes. I would highly recommend both of these sides, but the asparagus was truly delicious.
After our lovely feast, we made the most of the beautiful sunshine and sat on the deck playing cards and eating the passion fruit, coconut cake that was some of the best morsels of food to ever pass by my lips. Of course, I washed the cake down with a cup of tea. First cup of tea in the sunshine of the year, made for a very happy me!
This year we actually managed to get a family picture...Thanksgiving and Christmas both passed without this accomplishment so it feels like a big moment! ha ha!
While we sit down and put our feet up, we recognise what gift today is. In Christ's death, sin is defeated and we can know eternal life in the future, and as important, we can know real freedom and joy in life today. The message of the cross is a reminder to life fully into every opportunity that life brings us. The gift of life is even more apparent to us this year, as my growing belly reminds us of the gift of new life we have been given! We are truly blessed.
Life is not always easy. It is a wild ride, painful at times, but with the almost unbearable days we can find strength, hope and peace in Jesus our Saviour and our friend. And in the days when life is good, we can be thankful to him for the goodness he showers over us.
May you know His peace and joy in your life this Easter.