GLORIA!!!

Welcome!   Grab a cuppa and relax a minute.  Easter dinner is over, the company has gone home, and the house will wait.  You cleaned it really well before Easter, so what could it possibly need already?  LOL. Did you know that the Easter ‘Season’ lasts 50 days?   We get to celebrate for a couple of months, now that we’ve survived Lent.  It was worth it, right?  Aw, come on.  It was SO worth it!  What was your Easter service like?  Ours was beautiful.   On Saturday night, the “Easter Vigil”, we started outside at a fire pit, then processed into the church with candles that were lit from the Easter candle as we entered, and did the first part in darkness except for the candle light.  As the readings progressed from the darkness before creation to the fall of man and God’s pleading through the prophets, it was dark.  As the readings began to foretell a savior, the lights began to come on, dimly.  The readings covered His suffering, and His death and burial in a borrowed tomb.  Then, all at one time, the lights came on, the angels (choir) sang, the Lord is Risen…  Gloria!!!

The readings covered the history of man’s need for salvation, then gave us the redemption we so desperately needed.  It was quite a service.  We had several young ones baptized, several of us were confirmed.  A couple of us had our first Holy Communion in the Catholic Church.  It was awesome in the true sense of the word.  I was surrounded by a sea of people who loved me and were excited for me.  Many were Catholic, but not all, by far.  I had folks there from several other traditions to ‘cheer me on’.  It was such a beautiful thing to see so many come together to worship, even in a tradition they were not necessarily familiar with.  People who were members of the church had volunteered to do certain readings or something during the Easter Vigil liturgy so they would be sure to be there – for me.  Family members who don’t attend church anyplace were there in support.   A neighbor’s family member flew in from out of state.   A couple of out of state friends who could not physically be here with me attended Easter Vigil in their own parishes in remembrance of my night.  A priest who has been one of my mentors on this journey was there to con celebrate.  What a joy to receive my first Holy Communion as a Catholic from the hands of two priests I respect so greatly and love so dearly!

On Easter Sunday, I did something totally different for me.  Since I’d been at Easter Vigil for over 2 hours on Saturday night, I didn’t go to church on Easter Sunday morning.   Instead, we had family time.  I was up earlier than I would have been to go to church.  I went with my younger daughter who came in from out of state, to decorate a few graves at the cemetery for my parents, grandparents and a beloved aunt and uncle.  Then we drove an hour to my ‘local’ daughter’s and took my grandson to the zoo for a couple of hours.  For some reason the little guy just loves the penguins.  We had a great time there!  Then it was a quick stop at the store and back to their house for Easter lunch, where another aunt joined us.  Then we celebrated three birthdays!  The younger daughter and her hubby left for home, and the rest of us visited, the grandson napped, and then we all went to my daughter’s in-laws for Easter dinner again.  It was a very long, very happy day.

How was your Easter?  Did you celebrate with family or friends?  Did you stop and tell the Lord ‘thank You’ for His sacrifice, and celebrate His resurrection from the dead?  Or do you even believe in Him?

Did you know that the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ has more historical documentation than some of the other things we ‘believe’ to be historical?  Are you a ‘thinking person’ who doesn’t need ‘that religious stuff’ ‘made up by men to control each other’?  Why not think a bit more deeply about Jesus Christ and His claims – to be one with Almighty God, to have the power to forgive sins.  I would recommend authors Josh McDowell and Lee Strobel to get started.

If you need the joy of Easter, the “Gloria!” or the “Alleluia!”, but don’t know where to start, find a pastor or priest.  They will be happy to help you find the answers you’re looking for.  The truest joy in the world comes from knowing that my Redeemer took my place, died for the punishment my sins deserved, but then rose again to life so I could live forever with Him.   All I can say is, “Gloria!   Alleluia!”

 

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