April 15, 2006

Happy Easter & A Joyful Passover

At the risk of offending people who would like to rid our nation of religious references and celebrations, everyone have a Joyful and Happy Easter, anyway. Be sure, if you can, to visit your church to share in this special day for Christians.

Traditions in Easter celebrations often include two special musical pieces: Christ the Lord Is Risen Today by Charles Wesley and, of course, the Hallelujah Chorus from Handle's Messiah. Read the words from the links to the hymns and see if they have special meaning to you. Then, you will have a chance to listen to this music, which can provide a spiritual uplift.

This begins the first hymn and states the reason for our celebration. Christ died on the cross and was resurrected in victory over sin and death.

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

The end of the next piece ends with these words of rejoicing and victory:

And He shall reign forever and ever,
|: King of kings! and Lord of lords! :
And He shall reign forever and ever,
King of kings! and Lord of lords!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

Be sure to read and reflect on all the lyrics to both songs.

There is a site for a small church whose choir sang both songs together, and they share a video of that in wmv format, which most people can enjoy by clicking on the link and having it automatically play. It's not a big choir with a giant orchestra. It's nothing particularly fancy. In fact, it's more like what you might experience in a church in almost any community. It shows people like many of us coming together in worship. That's what makes it special. It may take a moment to load, but please go to this church's music ministry site and go to the very bottom to click on link titled Easter Sunday 2005. You won't find this on MTV. We're confident that you will be blessed by the presentation.

Let this Easter Sunday be more than egg hunts and visits with friends and relatives. Meditate on Easter's special meaning and what it does for your life. It's not ancient history. Christ lives and He makes it possible for you to give up the past. Here is an article from "Christianity Today" that explains how this event has influence on you and how it gives you hope today: What Difference Does Easter Make? The Resurrection's effects on life and death .

G.M. and Woody wish you a joyful Easter and pray that it has positive meaning in your life.

Oh, and don't hesitate to wish others Happy Easter or be ashamed for your faith in Christ--no matter what others say. People need to hear good news.

For our Jewish Friends, we wish you a most Joyful Passover:

From Exodus begining with the 12th chapter:

1 The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: 2 This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. 3 Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. 4 If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. 7 They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. 8 They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. 9 Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. 10 You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. 11 This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the LORD. 12 For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. 13 The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt."

"14 This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance. 15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread; on the first day you shall remove leaven from your houses, for whoever eats leavened bread from the first day until the seventh day shall be cut off from Israel. 16 On the first day you shall hold a solemn assembly, and on the seventh day a solemn assembly; no work shall be done on those days; only what everyone must eat, that alone may be prepared by you. 17 You shall observe the festival of unleavened bread, for on this very day I brought your companies out of the land of Egypt: you shall observe this day throughout your generations as a perpetual ordinance. 18 In the first month, from the evening of the fourteenth day until the evening of the twenty-first day, you shall eat unleavened bread. 19 For seven days no leaven shall be found in your houses; for whoever eats what is leavened shall be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether an alien or a native of the land. 20 You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your settlements you shall eat unleavened bread."

"21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go, select lambs for your families, and slaughter the passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it in the blood that is in the basin, and touch the lintel and the two doorposts with the blood in the basin. None of you shall go outside the door of your house until morning. 23 For the LORD will pass through to strike down the Egyptians; when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the LORD will pass over that door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you down. 24 You shall observe this rite as a perpetual ordinance for you and your children. 25 When you come to the land that the LORD will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this observance. 26 And when your children ask you, 'What do you mean by this observance?' 27 you shall say, 'It is the passover sacrifice to the LORD, for he passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt, when he struck down the Egyptians but spared our houses.'" And the people bowed down and worshiped."

"28 The Israelites went and did just as the LORD had commanded Moses and Aaron."

"29 At midnight the LORD struck down all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sat on his throne to the firstborn of the prisoner who was in the dungeon, and all the firstborn of the livestock. 30 Pharaoh arose in the night, he and all his officials and all the Egyptians; and there was a loud cry in Egypt, for there was not a house without someone dead. 31 Then he summoned Moses and Aaron in the night, and said, "Rise up, go away from my people, both you and the Israelites! Go, worship the LORD, as you said. 32 Take your flocks and your herds, as you said, and be gone. And bring a blessing on me too!"

"33 The Egyptians urged the people to hasten their departure from the land, for they said, "We shall all be dead." 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, with their kneading bowls wrapped up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35 The Israelites had done as Moses told them; they had asked the Egyptians for jewelry of silver and gold, and for clothing, 36 and the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. And so they plundered the Egyptians."

Posted by GM & Woody at April 15, 2006 08:34 PM

Thanks for this post full of information. Happy Easter GM!

Posted by chrys at April 15, 2006 10:21 PM

Great post guys!
HAPPY EASTER and HAPPY PASSOVER to you George and Woody, and to all my fellow commenters!!!!

Posted by Ben USN (Ret) at April 16, 2006 03:08 AM

What a wonderful posting!

Happy Easter, GM and Woody.

Posted by Always On Watch at April 16, 2006 07:07 AM

May you and yours also have a Blessed and Joyful Easter, GM! You and yours as well, Woody.

"He is Risen! He is Risen, indeed!" Alleluia!

-- R'cat

Posted by Romeocat at April 16, 2006 08:41 AM

Thank you, GM and Woody, and may your Easter be a good 'un.

Posted by Seth at April 16, 2006 02:51 PM

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