Some of the flowers that graced our sanctuary this weekend. This photo was taken Saturday just before our rehearsal and warm-up prior to the first service.
Catching my friend, Bonnie, who is photographing the flowers and the platform.
There are times I like to travel over Easter — like last year when I was out in Virginia visiting Hans and Rachel and my grand kids. But many times, my choice is to stay home and sing in many or all of the worship services at my church. As in the past, this weekend included 7 services: 2 late Saturday afternoon and 5 this morning. It's a bit tiring, but very rewarding. How is that? Here are my observations.
First of all, we have the best seats in the house (God's house)! Our seats are always reserved. It is really a joy to see people in the congregation singing their hearts out. Oh, there are some who just stand there, but most seem to be joining in and enjoying themselves. Looking out, I see people that I may not have seen for awhile. It's fun when we catch each other - eye to eye - and share that smile. One of the biggest joys for me is seeing the children. For most Sundays, the children are off in other parts of the building - in classes geared to their age and interest. But on Easter weekend, all classes are suspended and the kids are in the worship service. Today, at the 11 o'clock service – one of the larger attended ones – I noticed a family of 5 standing in the balcony - wondering where to sit. Two of the children were little girls - about 4 and 5 years old, I would guess. They were wearing identical lavender dresses with white sweaters and lavender hats. They looked adorable! Soon the dad took one of the little girls by the hand and they proceeded to cross the balcony—the other sister, little brother and mom following behind. While they were walking, I noticed the kids' shoes - all three pairs - were the kind that light up when moving. It was so cute!! Why can't the choir wear those for our Christmas Eve services?! During the sermon, I noticed two young girls who were quietly playing with their American Girl dolls. Darling! But the incident that topped that was at the final service. The choir had just finished singing Glory (Rimsky-Korsakoff, adapted Amend). It's an anthem with a dynamic ending. In dead silence (while the pastor was making his way to the podium) a small voice yelled, "Yay!" First there was laughter, which was followed with a long, spontaneous round of clapping. I loved it! The pastor loved it, too.
Singing at seven 45 minute services can be tiring, but care is given to us in the form of food and beverages which we can have between the services. It's really not that bad.
The hardest part for me is controlling my emotions as we sing the hymns telling of Christ's love for us and His incredible gift of dying on the cross for us, so that we can live with Him in heaven after we die. The best part is that He conquered death and arose after 3 days. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!