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Harris Blackwood: Hello, and happy Easter, to all the strangers
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

For the Christian church, this is the big week. It is the week when people who the FBI could not find the rest of the year show up for Easter services.

Welcome!

Depending on whose numbers you look at, somewhere between 20 and 40 percent of the people attend church on a regular basis.

That number goes way up on Easter.

Some people feel a bit uncomfortable during their annual church pilgrimage. It depends on if they are familiar with the music. Some churches use very contemporary arrangements, while others are more traditional.

Easter is the day that we celebrate the risen Christ. I don’t think it matters what or how you sing it, it is just good that we take time to do it.

I am a church dinosaur. I like the old hymns. I like to hold a hymnal in my hand. It just feels right.

If someone sings a contemporary arrangement of an old hymn, that’s fine. If they flash the words on a screen, so be it.

I used to think it was important to wear your finest on Easter. The Bible says that it is what is in the heart, not what’s on your back that is important.

But I do like when folks dress up for Easter. I like to see ladies in beautiful hats. I don’t know why, I just do.

Easter is also the day that we dust off our white clothes and shoes. Now, those rules went out the window years ago, but there are folks who still adhere to the wearing of white after Easter.

The greatest gift of Easter is God’s love and forgiveness. No matter what we’ve done, God offers unconditional love. It was love that went to the cross for all of us.

I see a lot of churches with signs that say, “He is Risen.” Yes, Jesus rose on the third day in a demonstration of love that sometimes is hard to comprehend.

If you are making a visit to a church on Easter, I hope that you might look inward and find that this is an opportunity for grace, renewal, redemption and love.

We are Easter people and we are blessed to have this day that we can celebrate the love that God gave us through Jesus Christ.

Some people let guilt keep them away from this opportunity on Easter. If you feel uncomfortable about darkening the door of the church, then catch it online or on TV or on the radio.

God has a message for you on Easter and it would be an absolute shame for you to miss it.

I hope that this week that we call holy is just that for you. We need to take time away from the craziness of this world and realize that we are blessed of God in a marvelous way.

Start celebrating now and keep it up until the final hours of Easter Sunday. A blessing is out there waiting on you.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on www.gainesvilletimes.com.

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