Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Christ is risen, he meets our eyes!

 In my piano playing days, after the first few years of beginner's lesson and theory books, I took a liking to playing hymns out of church hymnals.  Hymn playing was an event in the festival we competed in each year in addition to solos and duets and even if they hadn't been hymn playing was how many students have been taught to play piano through the years.  My own grandmother taught herself to play from a hymnal since not many families could afford lessons in the 1930s.  Hymns are arguably pretty easy compared to the complicated classical compositions and choir accompaniments I played as a more advanced student in high school but something about being able to just open up the book and play any of the hundreds of songs by sight in the straightforward four part chords was fun.  They had their own challenge because you were supposed to play them for people to sing along which meant playing an introduction, adding subtle pauses at the end of lines for people to breathe and keeping the tempo steady and not getting carried away with the relatively easy notes and going too fast.  I had the chance to actually practice these requirements because I played at the church services at the town's nursing home in the summer.
Between my own piano playing and regular church attendance I ended up being familiar with a large repertoire of hymns and the Lent and Easter section became very familiar because there was so much church during those weeks!  So much church... The verses and tunes still run through my head, and like with Christmas music, I like the less known second, third and fourth verses of the songs because they really contain the message and meaning of Easter and Christianity.  I had one of my favorites, the very beautiful "Go to Dark Gethsemane" running through my head all weekend and I just looked up the verses to use a line in my title and sure enough...
Go to dark Gethsemane, ye that feel the tempter’s power;
Your Redeemer’s conflict see, watch with Him one bitter hour,
Turn not from His griefs away; learn of Jesus Christ to pray.
See Him at the judgment hall, beaten, bound, reviled, arraigned;
O the wormwood and the gall! O the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss; learn of Christ to bear the cross.
Calvary’s mournful mountain climb; there, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time, God’s own sacrifice complete.
“It is finished!” hear Him cry; learn of Jesus Christ to die.
Early hasten to the tomb where they laid His breathless clay;
All is solitude and gloom. Who has taken Him away?
Christ is risen! He meets our eyes; Savior, teach us so to rise.

Turn not from grief away? Shun not suffering, shame or loss, learn of Christ to bear the cross? Savior teach us how to rise? Well...I guess, now that I am reminded, those words do sound like everything a Christian should remember when struggling through life and suffering loss summarized in one line.  It doesn't make it easy but...thanks for the reminder, church music.

Well, now that I just seem to have authored a bible study for a Lutheran women's circle meeting I suppose I should get on with pictures of the kids on Easter.  We spent it in Grand Forks with Justin's parents and Tessa and Milo and I went to Fargo on Saturday for my cousin's bridal shower.  When we arrived on Friday afternoon Justin's mom took the kids to pick out their own egg dying kids.  Tessa chose Frozen and Ben chose Paw Patrol.  Shocking development, I know. 

I finally got to share my love of shrink wrapping with the kids. 
Tessa loved hers so much she carried them up to show me when I was fixing my hair on Saturday morning and dropped all three in the empty bath tub.  The shrink wrap kept the cracked shells intact.  I sneakily threw them all in the garbage yesterday.  I even managed to do it while they were awake!

The shower was fun.  There are seven girl cousins on my dad's side so since I got married in 2007 there has been a steady stream of wedding and baby showers.  There are three more weddings coming up in the next year which means there will probably be babies after that!  So it continues. 

One was missing!

Here is me and Tessa with my grandma. 

Here we are on Easter morning after church!  Lots of squinting going on!

Milo in his church clothes! Yes, it's denim overalls but he's wearing a plaid shirt, so...the kids were amazingly good in church.  I couldn't believe it.
 Here's a picture of the kids with their grandparents.  Milo is on outfit two.  You know what that means. 
The kids had an egg hunt after church. 
FYI, that blue tape is ben's "road" for his lego cars...my in-laws don't normally have painter's tape on their floor!

This was my attempt at taking a picture of Tessa's cute dress!  It was on my phone camera and she's just to fast!
Now I am just trying to find the time to put all the plastic Easter eggs away.  The problem is I keep finding halves all over the house and I am trying to put them in one place but they keep ending up all over the house!  Children, children...


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