Thursday, April 12, 2007

Resurrection Celebration

This week we celebrated Resurrection Sunday, and I am overdue to write about it.

Easter. It's become probably my favorite day of the whole year. Each year I grow a bit in my understanding of what it meant--and means--that Christ was raised from the dead: that He conquered sin and death for all those who put their faith in Him; that He proved His own perfect righteousness; that He demonstrated that His sacrifice was acceptable to the Father; that one day all Christians will be raised from death along with Him.

This Easter, though a bit different from all the others I have known, was truly wonderful--just wonderful. Meg and I got up and hustled off to church (Dave had already been there for several hours) in time for the 9 a.m. service. I took Meg to her Children's Ministry class, and she went to one of the kind workers there without crying! In fact, she stayed there happily through the entire hour-and-a-half, for the very first time! What a wonderful Easter gift for her Mommy!

I kept an eye on the nursery pager, but apart from that I was able to enjoy the whole service completely without distraction! The music was wonderful, the sermon excellent. Through it all, I must say that I enjoyed God so very much--enjoyed singing of and meditating on His character and works, enjoyed tasting His goodness in the presence of my dear church family. I hope that you know just what I am talking about from your own experience. If not, I pray that you will some day taste these kinds of joys, for there is nothing to which I can compare them.

After church, Meg and I headed home and Meg went down for her nap. I kept busy in the kitchen. Around 3:00, Dave came home from his extended morning at church and Meggers awoke. Dave's arrival was followed shortly by that of my sister Lena, and then our friend K. The four of us "grown-ups" (so-called), plus Meg, formed our Easter luncheon party. We dined on beef, mashed potatoes, two kinds of salads, and a frozen dessert concoction.

Warning: lengthy aside ahead. Skip the next paragraph if you could care less about my culinary adventures.

(Cooking the beef was a new experience for me. Growing up in a household where we stuck largely to ground beef, ground turkey, poultry, fish and the occasional tofu/other vegetarian entree, I never learned about the different cuts of meat and their properties. So the day before Easter I went to the grocery store looking for "something special"--but not too special. I thought perhaps I'd find some sort of beef to roast, as a bit of an experiment. My main requirement was that it be affordable. I came home with 2 pounds of... round top, I think it was. Then I sat down and looked it up on the Internet, where I learned that round top is one of the less tender cuts of meat. Hmmm. Best to use a "moist heat method" of cooking in order to maximize tenderness, my online source told me. So... fun! I got to try a new meat and a new cooking method--I chose braising--in one day! Not to mention the wonderfully fragrant, herb-ful rub that I made to marinate the meat. As it worked out, the flavor that the rub lent was definitely the best part of the dish. In other words, although I enjoyed the new cooking experience, I am not sure I would try round top again in a hurry, even if it is relatively cheap.)

The only thing missing from my day was more family. I believe this was my very first Easter away from both of my parents at once (that's first out of 27!). Mom and Dad were in Pennsylvania, preparing to move my grandparents down here to Maryland. So they were spending the time well, but I missed them very much. I also missed the rest of the Nalle clan, with whom we used to spend every Easter, once upon a time, before we all got so spread out, geographically speaking.

Despite these small drawbacks, Easter of 2007 was a lovely, rich, refreshing day. We filled the afternoon time with munching and fellowship. There was much talk of God's kindness and how He is at work in our lives. What an appropriate way to spend Resurrection Day--speaking of the grace that Christ's resurrection assured.

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