On Easter evening, I found myself in the quiet of the living room as excited voices faded way into rhythmic, slow breathing, and as I sat I rocked. Rocking....rocking...nursing sweet Adele' into a warm and satiated sleep and recalling in happy exhaustion the days events.
Taking extra care to don the finest clothes, hoping to bring glory even more than the lilies. Worshipping, praising and heads bowed in prayer. A Church, triumphant!
The eggs had been hid and joyfully rediscovered just as we joyfully rediscover the truth of a resurrected life, plucking from the muddied everydays and thrusting them into the sunshine for all to see.
The feast had been prepared, the table set worthy of a palace and we ate our fill. We ate, knowing that Christ alone enabled our feasting.
That powerful day long ago, one of Jesus' first acts after being resurrected was to break bread and give thanks, revealing himself as he passed the food along. Just as He broke bread and gave blessing within the Emmaus house, so we broke bread and gave thanks in ours.
Reading again, discussing again, rejoicing again by bringing our hearts and mind again to the truth in God's word. Because the highest point in history deserves to be lingered over.
We did as we always do, each Easter, and yet, something was different. Something seemed different to me...what was it? Then I realized. It wasn't just our family celebrating these things after church and in the days leading up to it. This time, we shared our celebrations with a community of believers. There was a time when we worshipped in a body of believers where no mention was made of Easter or the reason behind Easter. People celebrated quietly in their homes, perhaps, but within God's house it was not recognized. Similarly, Christmas passed by unnoticed within the four walls of church~even as families mailed Christmas cards and decorated Christmas trees. Why this was, I never understood.
This church is the first of which we have ever attended that draw our hearts and minds back to these celebratory times, renewing in us an understanding and reigniting the flames of passion that come with those long ago, life altering moments in history. It loudly proclaims these holy days and truly sets them apart. Never before have I rejoiced so very much in these holidays, never before has my mind turned as frequently to the Truth.
What a blessing indeed. I am so very thankful.
Squirming to get comfortable again, babe in arms drew my attention again to the sleepyheaded nursling in my arms and I began to stroke her head with my fingertips, playing with her now-blonding few wisps. Her eyes fluttered and began again to roll into sleep and I studied her face.
My child. My darling. My Adele'.
It was for her that Jesus died. It was for me. Jesus hung on the cross, fulfilling destiny and becoming a perfect sacrifice not just for the Jews. Gentiles. Not just for his disciples or the long-departed saints. It is easy to think He was dying for those who lived during that time, and He did. But not just for them, Omniscient One. It was Adele' that was on his lips. It was Rebecca. Corynn. Andrew. Matt. YOU. And if it be in His will for me to have more children~ He did so for them too. While he hung on the cross~it was with us in mind and in his heart. He wasn't dying just to "cover" all believers, in the past and in the future. No. He knew us by name, even as he hung.
He went to hell, doing so for His Adele. For His Rebecca. We were yet unborn, and yet~He knew us by name. He sacrificed himself and endured hell for US. For Corynn's children. For Andrew's. I know them not, yet He does and did-even while dying on the cross.
I was struck by the truth. Deeply pained and deeply moved. It is not a generic God we serve, but a PERSONAL Saviour.
A Saviour who now sits at God's right hand and intercedes for us, praying not just on behalf of "his people". No, He prays for you. For me. For my someday children and my childrens' someday children. He prays for us, individually. He knows us. He loves us. Our names on his lips.
Praise be to God!