11 years ago I blogged about Easter....Easter Sunday 2007 Easter Sunday. Our first one in the Philippines. I awaken with a strong case of homesickness for my family church in Michigan. I missing hearing Carolyn and Pam play beautiful resurrection music on the organ and piano. I am missing hearing the choir sing and seeing all the Easter lillies. I'm missing hugs from my many friends . I miss Margie's smile. These are the thoughts that fill my mind as we prepare to go to Easter Service. The service here was three hours and ten minutes long in Tagalog. I prayed and asked God to speak to me even though I couldn't understand most of what was said. And He did! The Pastor read 1 Corinthians 15 in English and suddenly verse 3 jumped out at me - “For I declare to you as of FIRST IMPORTANCE what I also received...” First importance – yes, that is what it's all about. As I look around at all my Filipino brothers and sisters in Christ, I am reminded of the “first importance” of delivering the Word of God to the unreached people groups of Indonesia and SouthEast Asia. How can they enjoy sweet fellowship and communion with Christ if they never hear that “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures...”(1 Cor. 15:3-5) They need those scriptures in their own heart language.So though this Easter found me extremely homesick and frustrated with language barriers, the English that came through was God's gift to me. Sailing through eleven years, many changes have occurred. Each of us has blossomed in various ways, like petals on a flower reaching for the SON, growing more and more into His likeness....always an ongoing task.
This Easter I journaled, "HE IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN, INDEED!!! In the states, before we came here, this holiday for me entailed purchasing new clothing for each of my kids, my husband, and myself, fancy Easter baskets filled with candies, food, clothing,...busyness and money expenditures... but here Easter has boiled down to its essential - worshipping Christ. Oh, I still give my kids candy - this year its in colourful paper cups - but the busyness and consumerism of a USA Easter - the grandeous pomp of parading well-honed kids to churches brimming with lillies, women garnered in frivolous hats, cinnamon rolls, hams, showmanship but no depth, has been stripped away - - the essential of Easter is worshipping the risen Christ and Him alone. It's not the glitz and glamour. It's the the GLORY of Christ - of Him Risen from the dead - Christ alone - Glorify Him alone!"