easterday_blog

Joy | Easter Day

I’ve thought a lot about the feelings the biblical Easter stories holds this week. There is the simple, easy joy that is contagious, but isn’t deep as we meet it in the crowd on Palm Sunday. The wonder and worry as we read through the happenings on Maundy Thursday and the sorrow of Good Friday.

I’ve been thinking about Jesu’s friends and his followers, the closest few especially. How did they feel? How much did they understand of things as they happened? What would I have felt if I lived through the days together with them? (The easy answer to the last question: all the feelings possible, from good to bad – and back again! But, wow, what a week!)

open grave

Easter Day is a very special day. It’s the day that we celebrate the impossible. That Christ is risen. That hope is restored. Only, this day is not filled with the carefree joy from Palm Sunday. This is a joy that had a high price, a joy that is deep and founded in Gods love for us. For all of us. First told by the women visiting the grave, not expecting anything else but to do what tradition and love asked. Instead they met an empty tomb and an angel giving them the best message any human have ever been told to deliver: He is not here, he is risen from the death! No wonder they hurried back to the others, no wonder their voices filled with hope and joy as they told and retold.

Every day I felt a little bit of that joy. Today I remind my self to savor it, to recognize it, to appreciate it and to share it with others. Happy Easter, indeed!!

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maudythursday_blog

To Serve | Maundy Thursday

A little Sunday Thought on a Thursday, as this Thursday is filled with stories. Stories that surprise, that heal and stories that splits. Here is one of them:

After teaching and healing by the temple for several days he gathered his friends together for the Easter meal. As they sat down to enjoy the feast he surprisingly took of his cape and filled a bucket with water. He knelt down beside the first one. He wanted to wash their feet. A dirty job usually deserved for the lowest low. What was their Master doing?!

As he continued to wash their feet he let them know – and feel – what love was. What love is. The water and the act of cleaning bound them together. He was not put here on earth to rule, but to serve. To give himself for others. To set us free.

Peter was the only one that dared to protest. He did not like to have his Master and Teacher kneeling down beside him with his bucket of water and towel in his belt ready to wash. No, Peter said, I can not let you do this. If I don’t do this we have nothing in common, Jesus answered, this act bind us together in compassion, in love and in faith.

Peter let Jesus wash his feet. Of course he did.

What would you have done?!

Washing feet (–> read John chapter 13 to learn more about Maundy Thursday)

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Happy Easter Day

Happy Easter

My Grandpa always told me that it wasn’t really a happy easter until Easter Day. I’m not so sure if I agree, because every day – throughout the year – is a Happy Easter because of what Jesus did almost two thousand years ago. But I still tend to think about my Grandpa when it comes to this, so today I’m going to say – with my broadest smile and warmest voice:

I wish you all a Blessed and Happy Easter Day!

HE IS RISEN! He is here.

Love | Good Friday

Good Friday

Good Friday is a sad and dark day, in many ways. Jesus was sentenced to death. He suffered and he died. In Norway we let Jesus’ sufferings influence the name. We call it Long Friday. In earlier times it was a strange holiday day. Usually the goal of any other holiday was to do as little work as possible; this was a day of hard labor. They wanted to feel the pain in the body similar to Jesus’ suffering so many years before.

Now Good Friday is a quiet day, at least in the churches. Some places there are no music, most places the candle lights aren’t lit (or they might be blown out during the service). There are fewer words spoken, but the readings from the bible is longer than usual.

The day is sad and dark. But still there is some light. What happened, that Jesus died, makes the day filled with quiet joy and thanks because he died loving us all.

Good Friday tells me how much God loves us,
you and me – and every other person on earth (past, now and present).

because of love

It wasn’t easy and it wasn’t cheap to show of this love. But it set us free.
Talk about a Good Friday!

Read more about Good Friday in John 18:1-19:30.

God Bless You!

Palm Sunday | Hosanna

Yesterday my nephew cut a few (20ish) branches of pine for me.

a branch of pine

Today I asked (very politely) the congregation to please come outside with me to start the service with a little Palm Sunday procession. We handed out the branches and our musician went in the front, together with MT and another kid. While swinging our branches we sang ‘Hosanna’ to Jesus and started our Palm Sunday part of the service (we went through all of the main days of Easter, I’ll get back to the rest of the days later…).

Donkey with pine

There is something with the things we do, it stays much longer with us than things we just hear or read. I wanted to give a tiny little feeling of being there by the gate of Jerusalem. Shouting out to the Lord with joy and laughter. Welcoming the king to our city.

Hosanna!

The next day the great crowd that had come for the festival heard that Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem. They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting,

“Hosanna!”
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

(John 12:12-13)

some pine branches

A good start to our Easter celebration :D
Wish you all a Blessed Sunday!

Easter Day 2009

Every Easter Day since MT got baptized we have been celebrating the day with family and friends. This year was no exception and we invited our closest family to join us.

MT in Ethiopian suit
Photo from the baptism Easter Day 2006.

But first I had a little work to do, an Easter service up in the mountain. In a small, cozy church. I didn’t bring my camera, so I have sadly no photos to show. The service didn’t start before 3 pm so we had plenty of time to enjoy the morning and early day.

Easter Egg

MT was happy to find some candy for him in the living room and thought it was a nice breakfast (ahem).

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