I don't think there's a holiday more meaningful to me than Easter. I remember as a little kid, going to church one Easter when I was about ten, and just getting it. My parents had let me stay in "big Church," if I could behave, and the congregation sang that old school song,
"He came from Heaven to earth to show the way,
from the earth to the cross, my debt to pay,
from the cross to the grave, from the grave to the sky,
Lord, I lift Your name on high."
I remember feeling overwhelmed by the realization that Jesus died for us. It was the first time I had the urge to close my eyes and raise my hands in worship, in thanks, but I felt too embarrassed. So I stood there, and I remember trying not to cry. I think it was my first encounter with the Spirit of God. I know it was real.
Now, I teach three and four year olds every few weeks at Portico, and we have a worship time with them. It's the most moving thing to see these kiddos worship God. We put up slides with the words to the songs, so they can "read" them. Each week, they ask for this song and sing their little hearts out. They sway to the music, close their little eyes and do the sign language that they learned for the chorus. I love to watch them--they are so genuine. I think that children probably "get" Jesus more than adults do, sometimes. They don't question the politics of it all--they just know that they love Jesus. I probably have a few things to learn from kiddos.
Happy Easter a little bit early, blogosphere. He is alive!