Saturday, April 11, 2009

Sweet Saturday

And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry,
And satisfy the afflicted soul;
Then shall thy light rise in obscurity,
And thy darkness be as the noon day:

And the LORD shall guide thee continually,
And satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones:
And thou shalt be like a watered garden,
And like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.

Isaiah 58:10-11

Even A tiny child can be hungry though it doesn’t quite know why.
And bigger people can be hungry too, though they may not say so.
Look out for the hungry and you will find them.
He who has satisfied them with Himself will lead you to them.

~~ Amy Carmichael~~
Founder, Dohnavur Fellowship, India

* * *

My upbringing included a sole church attendance each year – Easter. We donned new dresses with fancy hair ornaments and even gloves, at times. The baskets of jelly beans and chocolate bunnies we left behind on the hearth captivated our thoughts as we sat in a strange building on a hard bench surrounded by smiling faces of strangers. Greetings floated in the air but, since we chose a different church each year, the greetings fell empty all around us. A feast with an elderly relative (who never remembered our names) followed the service. All too quickly we returned home to ready ourselves for Monday morning and a return to the routine.

This heavily-marketed holiday provided goodies (which we lacked most of the year) and an eat-all-you-want meal of tasty specialties, but I remained hungry for something more. The filled eggs and puffed chicks sickened my stomach after a bit, especially when piled on top of a heavy, salty ham dinner. I viewed Easter as a chore, more than a treat and that became even more pronounced after my dad left and I juggled two Easter baskets and a broken heart. Many years later I would discover that my hunger pangs emanated from my heart, not my stomach. When my heart found Jesus, my hunger ceased and Easter became a celebration for me. A true JOY-filled day of remembering and rejoicing.

Throughout the years my Easter celebrations have varied greatly from LARGE family gatherings to quiet brunches with my husband and children alone. This year we will worship from home and eat a simple meal together as a family. Too much celebration would overwhelm us this year. God knows . . . Jesus understands . . . The Holy Spirit nods.

Last night for Family Fun Night we enjoyed a tasty meal, marveled over the fancy eggs that resulted from the girls’ crafty afternoon activity, and then settled down to view The Nativity Story. We wanted to tie together Christ’s life from beginning to end this year. Throughout this Holy Week we have discussed God’s far-reaching eyes and personal ties to each and every facet of creation. Not a tree in bud, not a cocooned butterfly, not a precious babe escapes His sight and love.

Tonight we will watch The Visual Bible, Matthew and continue walking with Jesus all the way to The Cross and beyond. There will be no new dresses or large gatherings, not even a lily on the table (which relatives made sure to grace me with each year, though they refuse to settle into my garden comfortably). But, we will feed those pangs of the heart as we celebrate Life Renewed and remember our Savior’s command to look around and find the hungry among us. They exist even as they try to hide or we try to avoid looking. I fret not about who to invite or what to serve, for God promises to lead me. I have only to smile a welcome and keep the pathway to my home and heart open to receive all who pass by. Some may stop for a brief respite of tea, others choose to sup fully, still others will merely wave without stopping. All receive a greeting and invitation as I have received.

Thus we will celebrate this Easter like a well-watered garden and a free-flowing spring. I wish the same for you and your families as you gather this precious Sunday in celebration of the gift of Life Eternal.

* * *

Rejoice in the Lord always:
And again I say, Rejoice.
Philippians 4:4


sukipoet said...

I send you and your family wishes for a peaceful easter. thanks for your thoughts and quotations. how nice to spend a quiet time together at home. blessings, suki

farmlady said...

Have a quiet and peace filled day.

CIELO said...

I totally love your new blog banner and statue! ;) May you and yours experience the peace and love of God this Easter...



Karen Deborah said...

God fill you up and bless you BIG my dear friend. Love and hugs to all.
An extra little kiss for RK please.

LadiesoftheHouse said...

Lovely post--thank you.

Ummm, and thank you for nudging me to invite my neighbors again for Easter dinner this year. I have wrestled all day with trying to is also my brother's 50th birthday party. They are unpleasant people with very few manners and wholly unaware of God, of this I am certain. I have had them for dinner before with my family gathered and at best it is uncomfortable. At worst my sister declared that next time they come SHE is staying home.

Deep in my heart I always wonder if God placed us intentionally next door to them, that's what keeps me from being able to just brush them off.

I know they have nowhere else to go, never have visitors or friends over. It is a single dad with a 7 year old girl. They eat at McDonalds every single night--no kidding.


Gail said...

Thank you for some food for the soul. It is a good thing to be hungry, spiritually.
I pray your time of celebration be BLESSED. Happy Easter, the tomb is empty and HE IS ALIVE.

Ruth MacC said...

I just love reading the 'reality' of how God changed a life... then it effects a whole family and then out into the broader community... even as far as Ireland:0)

Thanks sister.