Easter is a time to celebrate! Regardless of your faith or beliefs, Easter is a time to celebrate. Even before this date was chosen to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, this date was used to celebrate the coming of spring and new life. Maybe you celebrate with family or sitting alone in a quiet place. However you celebrate, let’s celebrate. There are lots of ways to celebrate too. Come and celebrate on Saturday morning at 10:00 March 31, at Landa Library Gardens, 233 Bushnell Ave, with lots of children and their families as we hunt Easter eggs, do crafts and face painting or join us at 9:00 at the San Antonio Food Bank, 5200 Enrique M. Barrera Parkway, as we celebrate the abundance God has given us and we share with others. Celebrate!

Some will be traveling to be with family over the Easter weekend while others will be hosting family and friends here in San Antonio. Meet at your house or meet at theirs, just celebrate. Meet with one or two close friends or the entire city. Celebrate! We invite everyone to celebrate The Resurrection with us. Sunday morning there will be services for everyone. If you are an early morning person come watch the sun come up from Rowe Plaza. If you want a quiet sung service, come for the Exultet (Easter Proclamation) at 8:15 and then stay for the full communion celebration at 8:30. There will be Sunday School at 10:00 and a wonderful Easter breakfast feast from 9:30 to 10:45 in the gym. Or you can come for one of our biggest communion services of the year at 11:00. Both will have Choir, Brass and congregational singing of Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus. There is a place for everyone. Come Celebrate Easter with us and invite a friend.

Resurrection is not about getting something you never had but getting back something you thought was lost forever in a new way. There is a difference between resurrection and resuscitation or recovery. When something is resurrected it is no longer subject to death. The celebration of Christ’s Resurrection is not subject to death. Most things that are recovered or remembered remain subject to the frailty of humanity and eventually return to the earth. God’s gifts are not, like love, hope, compassion, hospitality and kindness.

Several years ago at Laurel Heights, about 80 congregational leaders of all ages, came together to celebrate. We spent the first few minutes of our time together thinking about what we believed God’s will was for this community and named several like food, strength, sharing, security, shelter, fellowship, neighbors, peace, family and togetherness. The next 20 minutes were spent celebrating as many of the gifts God had given us we could remember. Each round of questions called to mind a new series of blessings and it soon became very obvious we would not be able to name them all. We would not even be able to remember them all. We wrote each gift on a separate piece of paper and taped it to the wall. Soon the wall was covered as high as people could reach and people began to climb on stools and ladders to reach even higher. Even the furniture was being covered by God’s blessings. After a few minutes of reflecting on the visible representation of all the gifts and thinking about God’s will for the community, things began to come together, much like the bones of Israel in Ezekiel. How could these “bones” live?

I hope you can come celebrate all the wonderful events leading us to the Great Celebration of Easter. Every service is designed to help us recall a blessing from God. The wonderful Lenten Lunch on Tuesdays provided by the United Methodist Women, “Walk to Easter” for elementary students Wednesday after supper, “The Seder Meal” and Communion Thursday evening at 7:00, two “Good Friday Services” and two opportunities for Community Service on Saturday are all designed to lead us into the greatest celebration, the Mystery of Easter.

See you Sunday,