Easter Memories

By We woke up early to an especially cold Easter morning. There were Easter baskets and goodies waiting for us kids. We knew mom left Ďem for us but it was great fun anyway. After breakfast we would shuffle off to the church and walk up the hill to where dad and some of the other men had set up chairs the night before. The early morning snow had dusted the metal folding chairs causing a little rush for some of the men in the church to brush them off before all the others arrived for the sunrise service. My dad would stand in a little wooden pergola just big enough for him, a piano player, and an upright piano the men had brought up from the church in the back of a pickup truck. My brother and I would put hymnals on every other chair to make sure there was enough to go around. When dad was confident that all who were coming were there, he would begin. His pulpit, facing north, the audience facing south and sun bringing light and warmth from the east as the clouds parted. It was wonderful; you could see the mist of your breath while singing hymns. This was followed by a special Easter message delivered by my dad. As always there was a clear gospel presentation shared as a reminder for us and for those who may not have heard before. Folks in flannel shirts and jackets, kids huddled under wool blankets, the crisp still air of a cold mountain morning and beautiful skies. It was very memorable. I can still see the faces and hear the voices of those dear saints who were special to my parents. They all worked so hard in those days. Easter was and is special at our house. Sunrise services, church and then a family dinner. Ham and scalloped potatoes, vegetables and rolls and dessert were typical fare. Weíre going to my mother-in-lawís home this year and my mom will be there too, so will our children. Although they represent fond memorable traditions of the season, they are not the reason we celebrate. We celebrate Christís death, burial and resurrection because it means a future in glory with the King, our heavenly father. Like Christmas, there is a special excitement of this season. What a precious gift is the gift of forgiveness of sins. No one but Christ was worthy; there is no other sacrifice that would have been sufficient to pay the penalty for my wandering heart. I have heard the beautiful gospel message over and over. Iím still captivated by it; Iíll never grow weary of hearing it. The message of Christís love seems fresh and new. It is! His redemptive sacrifice still washes away the stain of my selfish, sinful life. There really is power in the blood! The message of the cross is the ultimate love story. Itís the only story greater in scope and wonder then the story of Christmas. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! Happy Easter!