Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Ramblings

What a joy it was on Saturday to be back at Rez for the Easter Vigil!!

(If you are a newer reader, here is a post I wrote on a previous Easter which poetically describes the Vigil and links to pictures.)

You wouldn't think that a 4-hour service could be so engaging--the highlight of the church year--the one you invite EVERYBODY to--but that's what the Easter Vigil is! Three of my kids brought friends, and we were so pleased that five adults and five kids from Light of Christ drove all the way from Wisconsin to experience it. We hope to hold our own Easter Vigil there some day, and though we won't be trying to copy Rez--new wineskins and all!--it was wonderful for them to see how it could be done so creatively and effectively. And the musical talent at Rez is amazing--the worship there is always such a joy.

In fact, one family came last year as well, and the wife's comment to me then was, "I almost can't believe you guys are willing to leave all that to move up here and start from scratch!" And this year, one of the men who came--and loved the service--shared with me an image from Ezra as an encouragement. He likened Father Rooster and me to the elders in that passage--who wept when the foundation of the new temple was laid, because they had seen the glory of the former temple.

At Light of Christ we have nothing yet but a foundation--barely!--yet the promise of a new temple being raised up on those stones is so exciting. It is true, though, that it is hard to say goodbye to such a wonderful place as Rez. We benefited so much and were blessed to contribute much in the fifteen years we were there. We received much there that we are eager to help pass on, and we grew there in so many ways that prepared us--as much as possible--for the task now before us.

There was a time, just a few years ago, when we couldn't have imagined leaving Rez. She was our mother--the source of spiritual nourishment as well as our life-giving network of friends, of education, of rare opportunities to learn and serve. To us, a huge confirmation of our call to start this new church was when we realized that we could actually envision leaving our beloved church--and that our kids weren't rebelling at the thought either. None of us were rejoicing at leaving such dear friends and such a wonderful place behind--but all of us felt willing.

I think this long waiting-in-limbo time has served to loosen the soil around our roots just that much more. It was sad, at the early service on Easter Sunday, looking around me and realizing that hardly a soul sitting in my section knew who I was. (I attended Rez while the rest of my family drove to Light of Christ, so that I would have time to get home and prepare for hosting Easter dinner.) It was sad, too, to see little children that I remembered as toddlers and babes-in-arms, now all grown up, it seems,though only a year has passed...and several new families with five, six and seven kids, that I would love to get to know--but never will. It was like going home and finding everything changed, so that it no longer felt like home.

Right now, the foundation we see being laid at Light of Christ is both a reminder and a promise. We build with a glorious pattern in mind, of a former temple, and yet we believe that God will do a new thing at Light of Christ. It feels like a privilege to be "getting in on the ground floor"! We can't wait to move up there and help the construction process along.


On that subject, we have some preliminary news. The leadership team at Light of Christ has offered that the church help us out with housing--they suggested we select a house in the area so that we can talk actual dollars, and then they'll meet with an advisor to decide the best way to do that. So we might not have to wait till our house here sells, after all!

So we are going to look at houses next Sunday, and maybe choose one. There is one still available that we saw last summer and loved--it's new construction, too, so we could move in right away--and I am feeling euphorically optimistic about actually moving SOON.

Maybe. I'll keep you posted on that.

Meanwhile, we're aaallllllmost ready to list this house. Wednesday, I think. We're still gonna wash windows and empty out our garage (take our stuff up to the storage space in Wisconsin). This weekend I packed up a couple hundred CD's and we got rid of two CD towers from our giant wall unit of bookshelves in the great room...and I packed up all my best books from the remaining bookshelf in our bedroom and we moved that bookshelf out and a dresser I still need to touch up some paint, thin out my closet, box up stuff from another closet and move more stuff out of the basement bedroom. We have mega yard work to do too, but it can wait a little, considering the season. And the snow which is helpfully covering some of the problem spots.

(Do you know that it snowed here on Good Friday? It seems like there is always precipitation on Good Friday, which seems somehow right to me...but snow, now, is just wrong. It disorients me: Wait--what holiday is this? Advent? Christmas? The Assumption?

Just kiddin' on that last one. I looked it up and it's in August.)

Wish I had remembered to take pictures of Easter dinner--we had sixteen here. My mother-in-law made most of the food and my sister-in-law and I each contributed one dish. It was wonderful to spend Resurrection Day with family and friends.

But I will have pictures of my house, because I have to email them to my realtor tomorrow! So watch this space....


Fr. Steve said...

We know that ache of leaving well (though we were actually in the Rez community only a few years compared to your decade and a half). This time of year is always hardest for Sarah and me in our baby church. I shed tears reading that beautiful encouragement from Ezra. But let me also encourage you - your excitement in looking toward what may someday be is well founded. After Easter Sunday worship Sarah turned to me and said, "This is the first year that I am not sad and missing Rez so badly." Our Holy Week was deeply blessed - and while we too are working on new wineskins, check out these pictures and I think you will agree that there is a family resemblance! Prayers and blessings as you seek to kick the move into high-(er) gear.

Fr. Steve said...

OOPS! I forgot to leave the link to the pictures I mentioned. Sorry.