Bringing forth new life
Our Easter morning service began with an empty altar, except for the cross covered with a black shroud. When the Rev. Casey Collins walked to the front of the sanctuary, she removed the cross with its shroud and then, with the help of Preston Stewart, covered the altar with a gold-colored cloth and put back in place the candles and the Bible.
With the altar complete, from the back of the church a procession began down the center aisle — the choir, adults and children, each holding colorful flowers brought to the church in honor of loved ones. When the procession reached the communion rail, Judith Hill took each lily, daffodil, hyacinth, hydrangea and orchid and carefully arranged them on and around the altar. It was time for the celebration of resurrection and new life to begin.
Early in the service, Pastor Casey carried the resurrection theme into the Children’s Story. She explained that when she was growing up, instead of jelly beans and chocolate, she often received packets of chewing gum on Easter to illustrate the sticky situation Jesus was in when he was crucified. As she continued the story, she opened up new packages of gum in front of them and passed out the sticks of wrapped gum to each of the children. Much to their surprise, when they opened the wrappers, nothing was inside. Pastor Casey then explained, “That was what it was like three days after the crucifixion in the tomb in which Jesus had been laid to rest. It was empty.”
In Sunday School, Carol Hubbard led the children in an exercise of folding a sheet of paper over and over in different directions, cutting off one corner and then unfolding the paper to reveal a cross.
Also in Sunday School, the children picked out jelly beans and used them to decorate cupcakes as Carol red a poem to explain the meaning behind jelly bean colors, such as:
Red is for the blood He gave
Green is for the grass He made
Black is for the sins we made
White is for the grace He gave
In the sanctuary, Easter was celebrated in many ways throughout the service with the choir, as always, providing beauty and inspiration, Preston Stewart offering a pondering thoughtfulness with his scripture readings, and Pastor Casey using Mary Magdalene as the message for her sermon.
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!
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