Sunday, March 23, 2008

Special Easter

Truthfully, sometimes Easter comes and goes without my connecting to the Resurrection. I've often been to church services on Easter that seemed like exact duplicates of the previous year. It's not that I expect the message to change; after all, it is the Gospel. Instead, I often fail to open my eyes, ears, mind, and heart to see, hear, and experience the life-giving message anew.

But this Easter was different.

To begin with, our church held its first service in its new building. I walked through the building in awe and amazement because just four days before, the building looked like a war zone. The transformation that had taken place was as if new life had been breathed into this structure. It felt like home. And the cool thing is that our church body did the bulk of the work ourselves and that we did it in twenty-three days. Truly amazing.

The service proved that where two or more are gathered, Jesus shows up. Big time. His presence was palable during the prayers, the music, the Scripture reading, the video clip that was shown, and most especially in the message from Philippians 3.

I left feeling renewed and was treated to a homemade lunch at the home of one of my friends. Several members from my small group joined the party, and we had a great time reminiscing.

Afterwards, I spent the afternoon finishing the book The Shack by William P. Young. I bought the book a few months ago after my friend TJ wrote a glowing review of it. So when I started the book, I knew it was going to be difficult to put down. As I devoured the pages, the recurring thought that kept going through my head was "this is the most creative book of Christian fiction that I've ever read." The story is simply amazing and unlike anything I've ever heard before. It was the perfect book to read on Easter because it helps readers understand the Trinity in a way that most have never thought about before. Here's one of the many sections of dialog that captured my attention (from p.112):

"You said if I really knew you it wouldn't matter what you looked like . . . "

"It is quite simple really. Being always transcends appearance---that which only seems to be. Once you begin to know the being behind the very pretty or very ugly face, as determined by your bias, the surface appearances fade away until they simply no longer matter."

So although I missed spending this Easter with my mom and sister, I felt like I was right where I was supposed to be. I hope that you had a wonderful Easter as well!


Renae said...

So glad to hear you had a great Easter! We did too.

My mom has been trying to get me to read The Shack. I'm going to have to get a copy!


Anonymous said...

Mom gave me this book yesterday (on Easter) and I finished it today! I thought it was one of the best books I have ever read on why "bad" things happen and where God is during it all. How funny that we read it on the same day!!


Krista said...

I think I am the last person in Fort Worth to read this book! Still sitting on my book stack.

Love that your church had a beautiful time in your new building! So exciting.

TJ Wilson said...

Alyssa - Yea - so glad you read it! And yes, I too was overwhelmed with his creativity. Amazing. Loved this post.
And Krista- don't feel too badly, I'm the last in FW to read "Same Kind of Different as Me."

nikki said...

i felt that same way on easter in our church...good to read your words! i read the shack a few months ago- really beautiful.

"Bluebonnet in the snow" said...

R - Glad you had a great Easter! You HAVE to read The Shack.

J - So fun that we read a great book on the same day, miles apart!

K - It was exciting. As I told R, you HAVE to read The Shack!

TJ & N - Maybe we could form a book club to discuss The Shack. That would be fun!