Happy Easter everyone! I hope you’ve had a blessed and joyful day remembering the resurrection of Jesus Christ! I had a really exciting Easter, spent largely with students which was very enjoyable.
It began quite early. Some students organized a trip to climb Humpback Rock (a nearby mountain that gives spectacular views of the valleys below) for sunrise at 6:26am so we left Grounds at 4:50am. One of the worship leaders, Jed, brought his guitar and intended for us to sing praise songs atop the mountain at sunrise.
The Easter sun has just crept over the horizon.
After the steep hike up, we were surprised to meet people from UVA Wesley fellowship (United Methodists) — their minister had brought communion elements (a wonderful loaf of bread and two cups for dipping into the juice) enough for all of us! — so we decided to combine our services. Out of my time at Duke, I’ve come to enjoy some liturgical worship practices and this short service, in its simplicity, was no exception.
After a brief sermon, we passed around the bread and cup, tearing off a piece for the next person and allowing them to dip it, saying “This is the body of Christ broken for you. This is the blood of Christ poured out for you.” Then Jed and two other IV students led us in several songs to close which was a great blend of old and new worship styles. See a video from the IV worship portion here:
This is the body of Christ, broken for you. This is the blood of Christ, poured out for you
But the celebrations didn’t end there! After a brief nap, I went to a very full church service replete with organs, hand bells, and a wonderful choir singing some of my favorite hymns with a really excellent sermon by the lead pastor. And afterwards, I went to an Easter brunch hosted by a houseful of IV students! There was turkey, a baked ham, mashed potatoes, and all kinds of other dishes (not to mention desserts)! We even had an Easter egg hunt.
I can’t help but smile at what a wonderful day it was. How we began in the morning darkness clambering up the rocky (hardly-)trail with expectation for the sunrise — and we got more than we could’ve hoped for with communion and time with other believers too! And isn’t that what the Resurrection really does? It sets us free from the bonds of sin and then brings us together because we are washed, saved, and freed to enjoy and grow from each other.
Pausing to dye some Easter eggs at the Easter brunch with students (photo courtesy of Anna F)