He Has Risen!
He Has Indeed....HALLELUJAH!!!!
Like so many past Easter's our plans didn't change.
We went to 8am service at church, ate brunch provided by our church which the senior high youths volunteer to work at, and the free will donation given goes toward the National Youth Gathering in New Orleans this summer which most of them will attend. Then theirs clean up duty.
That's our shift!! Take Down! We usually don't dress up like most (for church) because we know that after church and brunch we will be cleaning plates, wiping down tables, washing and drying a lot of dishes, pans and slow cookers and finally taking down and putting away many chairs and tables that we earlier gathered on to eat and come together on this Easter Sunday. Then we go home in silence.
We don't have family around and we realize many do so for the past 4 or so years we have always volunteered for the last shift...clean up duty. Today for some reason I thought more about the story of Easter, how it too has played out the same for many, many years past. It doesn't change. It hasn't for years and yet each year it moves me a little more. I guess I tend to relate to the story a new way each year.
This year I thought about shifts. Shifts of preparing for the brunch and shifts of Jesus's last moments....
1st shift: Brunch~ Prepare. Help set up tables and chairs. Cut up potatoes, cut up ham, set out some decorations, and make the "kitchen ready"
Jesus last moments~Prepare. Jesus has been sent to be crucified. Now the guards "prepare" his body. They whip him, make him a crown of thorns, and dress him for the long walk he takes with his cross.
2nd shift: Brunch~ Servers. These volunteers came in EARLY on Easter morning. It was their job to turn on the coffee pots, make scrambled eggs, warm up the potatoes and ham and be ready for the guests to arrive so they could serve them breakfast.
Jesus last moment~ Crucifixion. It was their job to de-robe Jesus. Hang his sign which read "King of the Jews" and pound the nails into him. Then they had to stand the cross up and secure it in the ground. While the people stood and cried, watched, and waled....I can only imagine the emotions.
3rd shift: Brunch~ Take down. (What I stated above)
Jesus last moment~ Take down. Once Jesus took his last breath - the skies cracked open and they stabbed him in his side just to make sure he was dead - they asked to remove his body from the cross and lay him in the tomb. They cleaned him up and wrapped him in cloths before closing the entrance with a huge bolder and I imagine they went home in silence.
I don't know how those shifts came to me but as they did I thought I am glad I had the third and final shift. The joy that this weekend brings along with the sadness is a little odd. So many emotions are felt in just 3 days that the final "clean up" brings a bit of a closure to it all for me. It's probably my favorite time within the church year and a time I feel the most thankful for.
I hope Easter brings something new to all of you this year and every year too.
And since I haven't uploaded any current pictures I will leave you with a couple of pictures from last year......