Saturday, May 14, 2011

Celebrations & Understanding

Easter brought the beauty and joy of the season with family and friends.The gorgeous spring flowers in our sanctuary given in memory or in honor of loved ones smelled of Spring and the colors awoke the vibrance we so crave both in spring after a long winter and in our hearts after journeying through lent and holy week. The beautiful wooden cross was transformed into a breathtaking arrangement with flowers tucked into every nook.

We celebrated the beauty and season.
A family that seems happy to be together....and is. These girls love their Daddy...so do I.

A loving place to worship with people we love. 

 A delightful luncheon at our friends' home where BJ has celebrated holidays as family friends for over two decades. I feel quite lucky to have married into the friendship.

Anna Cate enjoys every generation of the family as well. After lunch the kids were entertained with an egg hunt.

Maeve and Anna Cate certainly have their game face on and look as if they are talking strategy for finding the treasures.  I wonder if Susie or Brenda ever got a picture of BJ and Brad (these girls' Dads who have been friends since the same age) in a similar pose.
I think it is the events of Holy week, however, that I will focus upon as I reflect on this season through the eyes of a parent. I will consider the journey to the transformations, both of the cross and of lives, the understandings I see developing in the pure heart and deep mind of Anna Cate's. The flowers, the cross and the broken pieces you see in the mosaic on the small cross, like most of life, have new meaning for me now. As a parent I, too, am transformed by Anna Cate's learning, understandings and wise comments.


When I was going to write about Holy week, I intended to focus upon her experiencing Lent this year with a little grasp and attending her first Passover.  The youth of our church put on a wonderful re-enactment of the Last Supper and detailed, through word and actions, the significance of the Jewish holiday as well as portray the stories of the Nazarene and his friends. Even though every step and bite we took held significance, Anna Cate didn't understand the meal, the service or its purpose....but there was coloring.

The evening opened with Nshimilimana Wiston (see at our table above), an teenage African newcomer to our country (former refugee camp inhabitant), saying a beautiful prayer in his native tongue. His tone was sincere, his words were deliberate, and his confidence to say a prayer into a microphone for people who could not understand him made me think that we didn't have to understand him to know he was experiencing the spirit of God in his prayer. So were we.  I took away from that night that we, both the adults and the children, don't always have to understand to  know the presence of God.  Anna Cate's lack of understanding about the symbolic food at the seder meal doesn't diminish from her participating with purpose. I felt the love of God from the spirit of Wiston in his prayer, and I hope that Anna Cate feels the spirit of God and an appreciation for the love of His people over thousands of years in the midst of her learning and lack of understanding.
 But days later, this analogy I was crafting in my head about understanding was challenged. On Good Friday, Anna Cate and I went to the Tinnebrae service of darkness with songs and words about Jesus' last days. At the end of the service, the whole congregation was stunned to see the pot we'd been molding through the Lenten season crushed into hundreds of pieces.  In the dark sanctuary, we heard the hammering of the pieces.  It broke our hearts to see the pot crushed.  We all walked down and picked up a piece of the broken vase and then pasted it into a wooden cross. It was the last act of our holy week service...hearing the crush, picking up a piece and putting it on the cross.  


Of course, I loved the symbolism because I got it and thought even Anna Cate would get the pot shattering to mean Jesus's death and whispered some explanation to her.  On the way home, she said, "Now, let's talk about that pot again." And, I explained again that the pot was like a person dying, their body dying. Then I promise you she said,  "Jesus died, but his destiny lives on." I said "his destiny?" thinking how in the world did she know that word. She said, "yes, well his spirit lives on...like my Grammy's." 


I like the idea of destiny and spirit of Jesus.



On Easter Sunday, she said on the way to church, "Will Jesus be here at church today?"  

Maybe she does understand.

 But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these."




~ Man's ultimate destiny is to become one with the Divine Power which governs and sustains the creation and its creatures. ~ Alfred Montapert

3 comments:

Patti said...

Hi Sarah, will you email me when you get a chance? I couldn't get your email address unless I went through the set up process on my husband's computer. Thanks! :)

patsy said...

love the girls smocked easter dresses...and anna cate asking if Jesus would be at church....cutest thing ever :)

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