It wasn't planned but it turned out that thanks to my recent bout with depression and my current struggles with religion (I'm not struggling with my faith in Christ - just Christianity), I hadn't gone to church during this year's Lenten season. I broke my fast and went to the 8:00 a.m. service today, the first "formal" service I've been to in over a year (did you know people wear suits and ties to church? Wild! :o). I wanted to go and got up with Les when she got ready for work. The service was good and I enjoyed it and felt moved by it, driving home singing This is the Feast in the truck.
I had hoped to avoid seeing anyone I knew, but two of the greeters were from the human care board and one of them talked with me and was very nice and understanding about my resignation (in fact, I've received a lot of loving, caring responses from people about my quitting - I should resign more often! :o) And while I am currently suspicious of the practice of sermons I found today's to be good, starting with the children's lesson which carried over into the homily, focusing on the four main verbs the angel uses when talking to the two Marys:
- Come (closer to the empty tomb)
- See (that Jesus is not there)
- Go (to the others)
- Tell (them that Christ is risen!)
The point being those are the four action words we must continue to practice, over and over. I liked that. "Come, see! Go, tell!" Simple. Effective. Not a single theological buzzword necessary to get the point across.
Then I went over to Les's folks for Easter dinner and stuffed myself and got in some good time (dare I say "fellowship"?) with that side of the family, who we really haven't seen since Christmas. Got home and had a nice chat on the phone with my folks, too, who we will be seeing this Wednesday to celebrate Morgann's 22nd birthday (which is Thursday). And tonight I'm cooking a ham dinner for all of us and will make sure there are some leftovers for when Les gets home around midnight, since she loves Easter and is missing it, even though she hasn't complained about it at all.
Easter is a feast day and so far I have feasted on faith, fellowship, family and food. Life is good. The Lord is good. As I said, I hadn't planned on giving up church for Lent, but by doing so it made it special again. And isn't that a small part of what fasting is all about - making us see and feel our lives and God's love in them fresh again?
Happy Easter, y'all!
He is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!