Last night Stephanie told me it was my job to make sure the kids had the very best Easter ever. I don't know if I came through for the kids, but I personally had a fantastic day.
It started with waking up refreshed, getting everyone out the door fairly painlessly, and showing up early to church. I can't describe how much I enjoy being early to church and helping set-up, talking with my faith family members, or simply wandering around drinking coffee, holding babies, and seeing all the faces arrive. At CANVAS Church we have a sign in the lobby that says, "Welcome Home," which perfectly encapsulates how I feel when I am there.
This morning at the church the most impactful part of the service came right after the sermon when a short video was played which posed questions about Jesus and our response to his amazing, saving work. As the video ended the band broke out into a song, and though I'm not exactly sure of the words of the song, what I can say is that the Holy Spirit was touching my heart in a such serious way that I was driven to my knees, completely overwhelmed in my spirit.
During this time of worship I had an unbelievable clear vision of Jesus' face. On his face was a large, warm, loving, excited smile. I keep picturing his joyful smile and thinking about how that must have been exactly what he looked like when he first appeared to the disciples after his resurrection! He must have been so excited to see them again and show himself victorious over death! The vision that the Spirit gave me this morning is one of the most generous, beautiful gifts I have ever received.
After church we spent the afternoon as a family at our house. This was our first Easter together here in Northfield because we have always gone to my parents in the past. Stephanie cooked a tasty traditional Easter meal and we enjoyed watching basketball and eating together. It was made extra special by my brother Aaron driving down from the cities and joining us. After the late lunch it was off to Papa and Nanny's house in Northfield for an Easter egg hunt and some pie. The kids loved the hunt, and I loved the lemon pie. Win for all! And now the plan is to end the night with a family movie.
I am so indescribably thankful for Easter and all that we celebrate on this day. I love my family, I love my faith family, and most of all I love my Savior Jesus. Without him in my life I have so little to offer that is of any worth. He gives me meaning, hope, direction, and renewal. He redeems my life which was destined for death and he makes me alive, more alive than I could ever dream.
I think I'll end this post with the words we end every CANVAS service with. They come from Ephesians 3:20-21:
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.