Easter in America… or Germany… or anywhere else in the world…is really the same thing, isn’t it? The true meaning is the same no matter where you are… a universal Holiday based on the death of Jesus Christ who died for our sins and then Resurrected giving us eternal life. he message is the same… the traditions are just little different.
Lara tells us Germans also have the Easter Bunny and colored eggs and jelly beans and chocolate rabbits! But Germans get a few more gifts than most people I know in America. When the kids were little, we would put little toys in their baskets but nothing big. Small things like squirt guns, yoyo’s, maybe a small car or a small doll. But now that they’re older, a chocolate bunny and a couple other candies seem to cover it. In fact, today, I didn’t even get to the baskets until tonight…we were just so busy the past couple days!
This morning we attended the 9am service at the church we’ve been attending for the past 5 weeks, Mission Community Church in Gilbert. We actually succeeded in getting out the door early and getting to church 20 minutes early so we’d be sure to get a seat. That was a great accomplishment for the 5 of us! The sermon was wonderful… probably similar to what many of you heard in church…but our Pastor just has a way of explaining things that makes it so understandable and enjoyable. My favorite Bible verse used in today’s lesson was John 16:30-” I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
After church, we hurried home, changed clothes and went to Canyon Lake, about a 40 minute drive from our home in the Tonto National Forest. Part of the drive involves winding roads in mountains and then a drop to the lake that’s surrounded by canyons. It is beautiful and the first visit for Lara. We used to have a boat, years ago, and had it moored here but haven’t been back in about 5 years. It brought back many memories for me, Terry and the kids. And I think Lara enjoyed hearing about our life with a boat so many years ago. There’s a restaurant at the lake where you can sit outside on a balcony so that was where we had lunch. It was so peaceful enjoying the great outdoors!
We watched the large ferry boat take off from the dock…. filled with Easter day Tourists. We walked around the boat docks where we used to keep our boat and enjoyed the scenery. We also bought some food to feed the fish and ducks below the restaurant. Then we drove down the road about 2 miles to a little town called Tortilla Flats, that really consists of a store and a restaurant, and that’s it. Cute little place. Then we made a couple stops at stores on the way home and when we got home, all the older kids came over. Everyone had made previous plans because we were supposed to be at Disneyland this weekend but our plans changed due to our business. Melody and Brian and Amber went to a Brunch Buffet with Brian’s parents who are in town from Minnesota. Tyler and Sharon went to a picnic with friends. We all sat around the kitchen table laughing about the past and talking about Sharon and Tyler’s baby on the way!
A beautiful family day celebrating that Christ is Risen! As our Pastor explained today…. Before His death, Jesus had promised eternal life to those who followed Him. If the story ended at His death, Jesus would have been no more than a religious figure with a finite life span. But the fact the Jesus rose from death demonstrated He has the power over death, and only through Him can people have hope for eternal life. Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Happy Easter to all! Enjoy our Easter photos!