Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Celebration

Easter Sunday was a blessed day for us.

But, first, let me share what last week was like.  Some good friends of ours has a son, and that young man asked me many months ago to do the wedding ceremony for him and his fiance.  They set their wedding for Friday, April 22.  I did not look at my calendar those many months ago.  I just knew that I would clear the date and fit in the wedding.

Well, as you can see, last Friday was Good Friday.  Anyway, the rehearsal was last Wednesday.  The wedding was at a very nice place with hardwood floors and was multi-level.  In fact, in the past it was a packing shed for the citrus industry (mainly oranges from the many groves in the Riverside and Inland Empire area).  It has a very historic look with its old brick exterior, and the building has been kept up quite well.

Saturday was a big  birthday party for Bailey at Shawn and Crystal's house in Ontario.  There was a jumper for the kids, a barbecue of hamburgers and hot dogs, a pinata filled with candy, birthday cake and presents from the many friends who came.  It was a good time but very tiring for me.  Actually, I went home early to get all the last things ready for our big Easter worship service.

This Easter Sunday was very special indeed.  We had two baptisms, one was an adult lady and the other was a seven-year old girl.  Also, as part of the day, I had been asked to do a Baby Dedication for two young children, an 11-month old baby boy and a 22-month old little girl.  These were brother and sister, and the parents are quite young and have a great love for the Lord.

The grandparents were there for the service, and they were all smiles.  In fact, the girl who was baptized was the older sister to these two youngsters who were dedicated.

My message for the day was The First Seven Words of the Risen Savior.  Many times, a sermon has been preached on the Last Seven Words of Christ when he was on the cross.  In the gospel of John, I used the narrative of the resurrection and the appearance of Christ at the tomb.  His words were about victory, celebration, peace, joy, comfort, relationship and proclamation of the Good News..

Because of the week's activities for both me and Sondra, we were not prepared to do a home-cooked Easter meal (which Sondra always does).  So, we decided to go out for lunch after church.  We went to the Easter Brunch at the nearest Marie Callender's restaurant and we were pleased.  There were seven of us -- me, Sondra, Crystal, Shawn, Bailey, David and Alden.  It was very crowded and busy, but it very pleasant and enjoyable at the same time.  There was so much to choose from, and we made it worthwhile!

It truly was a blessed day, with so much to be thankful for.  The question for the world is, "Do you believe in Easter?"  I do, because I am confident that Jesus died and was buried and was raised from the grave for the sins of the world.  My sins, included.  I know that my Redeemer lives, and I shall see him some day face to face.

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