Yesterday’s Easter celebrations were special in many ways.
It started with a morning sunrise service for church members (6 am). Just Eric made it for that one… In the past we started at 7 am, and intentionally made it kid-friendly, but this year in order to see the sunrise they started earlier. Eric said the sun was a bright red ball rising, and was quite beautiful. Maybe next year more of our family can make it there?!
We then had house church here for worship and lunch. We had about twelve total, and enjoyed studying Matthew 28 and some of the realities of Easter. As we shared in small groups what God impressed on our hearts, I noticed for the first time the theme of fear versus Jesus’ authority in this passage. Three times fear is mentioned: after the earthquake, the soldiers are very afraid; the angel says to the women looking for Jesus, “Do not be afraid.” And Jesus himself says to his followers “Do not be afraid” and later “all authority is given unto me on heaven and on earth…”
I reflected on the many things I find to fear — small little things, and bigger things. Fear of what people think of me. Fear about decisions in the future. Fears about our children. The message for me this Easter — in ALL of these things, do not be afraid. We have the authority and the power of Jesus. Really really- this is enough.
Here are our kids dressed up in their Easter best, as well as a sweet picture of Olivia with Kazu-kun (and his Daddy, Hakase). These two youngest members of our house church are starting to interact more together.
Then, after house church lunch and fellowship was done, we had about two hours to prepare for our Easter dinner party! About 16 came over for some Hawaii favorites and beef roast…
Before dinner we had a fun Easter egg hunt for the kids:
And then, while the adults were in watching the sumo tournament finale, the kids came back outside and hid Easter eggs outside for all the adults… I think the kids had more fun hiding the eggs in sneaky places than they did in searching for them … and the adults sure had fun looking….
After dinner, everyone indulged me by singing my favorite Easter song, “Christ the Lord has Risen Today”, including our favorite kids’ version to that tune from Miss Pattycakes.
It really was a special celebration – good friends, good food, and a great reason for celebrating.
I love the line in Wesley’s hymn, “Soar we now where Christ has led.” Often in ministry — in every day life — I don’t feel like I’m soaring. Fear, busyness, many things can keep me down pretty low. But this promise is ours – for THIS day. May you, and I, find joy in following our exalted head.