6 am service. Darkness. Stillness. Anticipation. Meditating on the stained glass. Chanting in candlelight. A renewed love for the ancient traditions of the church. The Israelites passing through the sea. Ezekiel’s words of God’s gift of a new heart and a new spirit. Tears of joy. Baptism of Levi. Surrounded by small group friends and the grunts of the newest baby.
Candles lit! Lights on! Loud voices! Alleluia – Christ is risen! Laughter! Smiles! I again resist doing paddle turns in the aisle.
Hallelujah chorus. The old version of Jesus Christ is Risen Today, and not my familiar Wesleyan hymn Christ the Lord is Risen Today. It’s okay – YouTube will play it in the car.
Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia!
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Breakfast biscuits (because we’re home from church by 8:30). Potluck dishes start to arrive. A nap, dreaming of missing the feast.
Preparations. Tablecloths and napkins and china. Ham and macaroni and carrots. A Coke for caffeine. Dancing to He’s Alive in front of my couch.
Friends arrive. More friends arrive. More friends arrive. Greg and I busy in the kitchen with a living room full of joyful people. We pray like a family.
Grab a plate! We’re missing one. Who came unannounced? We’re glad you’re here – we’ll squeeze in one more.
Talk of ocelots. Mountain lions. Taxes (nixed). Homecoming mums. Ten/Nine/Eleven Commandments. Alfred E. Neutrino. Making plasma with grapes. A list of dubious facts grows as grad students feast. All 14 stay for Fishbowl. 8 stay for Nertz. They disperse.
Comfy clothes, lemonade-ice tea, Father Elijah, and a spot in the gazebo by my husband. Peace.
Ham leftovers. Hungrily racing to the finish of Father Elijah. Reluctantly stopping to go to bed for an early morning.
An hour of near-silent worship of my wonderful God, who holds the whole world in His hands.
Thanks be to God. Alleluia! Alleluia!