Sunday, April 3, 2011

I Knew Both Of You Would Want To Know

We survived the visit.

And it was a visit that still leaves me scratching my head. Everyone got along, no digs, no crazy - was a good visit.

Very strange.

My folks arrived just as Tangled was getting over. Why yes, I did pick it up much to my teenagers' chagrin. It turns out my Mom slipped all the kids some money. I had to chuckle because if she thinks she can buy them off that easily than she is sadly mistaken.

Dad said he wanted to go get some ice cream so we all loaded up in our van and away we went. Nicholas and Michael, aka hoover eating machines, finished their ice cream in record time and Dad bought them a second helping.

I smirked at another bribery attempt.

We headed back home and Jared asked if they wanted to see Tangled which my Mom did. So some of us watched Tangled while the teenagers disappeared. Once that was done, I fixed a quick meal and we all horfed it down.

I thought we were going to play a few rounds of cards but the conversation turned into where we were at regarding our relationship with God. All of us shared what God was teaching each of us lately. All good stuff.

I felt really bad for my folks. They had been very involved with their church but their beliefs of being filled with the Holy Spirit clashed with the pastor and his beliefs. The pastor told my Dad to stop talking about it which Dad said um, no. So he went about a smear campaign against them. As in Googled them, pulled info regarding their tax fight as well as my brother's run-ins with the law, and then passed out this info saying gosh, look what I discovered and clearly these people need to be tarred and feathered. Now while my folks irritate me and while I don't agree with them on some things, that was beyond a low blow. My folks had told the pastor all of this upfront but the way he went about it - I've seen these types of games before.

And it is frustrating.

We do not wrestle with flesh and blood. We have an enemy against our very souls, stalking us, watching us, looking where to drive in the hook, the dagger, the final blow. Why, oh why, do I struggle to remember that when the attack is coming from someone I know?

So my folks are church shopping and asked why our shopping has stalled. I would say came to a screeching halt but that may be just me. I don't know what the answer is other than God is preparing us to move out of state. But first, we needed some alone time with just Him to get healed, not another program to run or some other fluff that didn't fill us but ended up draining us.

The topic of Easter came up during our family bible study last week. I was saying how I don't understand why we have this huge celebration of Jesus' birth at Christmas time but then Easter was always focused only on the cross and always felt like a funeral. Yes, there was a funeral but where is the celebration of He has risen? The celebration of victory over sin and death? We do this by dying eggs and eating chocolate??

I've said before that I am a total wuss when it comes to blood, guts, and gore. Growing up I did not care for Easter as every message was on all the gritty details of the cross to the point I wanted to pass out or throw up. I watched The Passion of Christ and while it was good to see the penalty of sin as the wages of sin lead to death and that I need redemption and I could not save myself - I always found myself wanting to see more of the victory. I wanted to shout as death and sin and the enemy was defeated. But it never happens. We see the hole in His hand and He's ready to take a step and bam the credits role.

The whole thing is sort of going along with the coming out of the grave thing I keep running into. Not sure how to tie it all together or exactly where this is going.

I voiced all this to my folks and asked them what was their Easter experience growing up and they said it was pretty much the same as mine - a somber affair and nothing to celebrate. My folks had even taken it a step further and there was no Easter baskets or egg hunts when I was growing up.

Jared's bible lesson this last week was about God is preparing a banquet, a party, a celebration. I told the guys I want to celebrate the victory. Not exactly sure how we're going to go about this. While my folks were here, Mom had asked if we had a bunch of their old Integrity Music tapes. Hubs found the box and we were going through some of them. I remember a lot of those songs growing up. I think I need to find some music for our celebration.

So what does celebration mean to you guys?


Lorraine said...

When you come up with an answer about how to celebrate, let me know! I've had the same thoughts/conundrum about Easter for many years. I always knew things were out of proportion in relation to how we celebrate Christmas and that it is way more than eggs and chocolate...but after that I am stuck!!

Joanna said...

Thanks Lorraine - always thought I was odd duck for thinking it.

I am still drawing a blank. So far we've come up with having upbeat Christian music playing for the whole day.

Lorraine said...

I've been pondering all of this. Maybe you are the normal one and the rest of us are the odd the sense that maybe you express what a lot of us think/experience but we (I) don't have the courage/honesty to lay in on the table.

And for celebrating, maybe the best way to acknowledge His resurrectin is to live it daily...His life in us. I don't know that there are any scriptural examples of setting aside a day to celebrate His rising.

And finally, a book suggestion....The Naked Gospel. I'd offer to share my copy but I've sent it to a friend in NM to read. Awesome truth given in bite-size digestible chunks!