Easter, despite being a movable holiday, has become an important anniversary for us, and one whose significance has grown over the years.
It was the day, nine years ago, that we got engaged. It was the night before Easter, three years ago, when we began a line of questioning and seeking that would take us far afield and bring us home again. It was Easter last year that we invited our children to join us as part of Christ's body.
This year on Easter, we officially joined the church we have been attending for the past year and a half. It probably looked like a pretty obvious step for many--one lady commented she had thought we had been members all along. We show up for all the services, we read and sing and teach. But for us it was a big step to join, to state that we had found a place and a people we were confident enough to commit.
Growing up in the more conservative sort of evangelicalism, I always thought the mainline churches were just "country clubs" where people didn't really believe all that any more, but just went to church out of habit. I'm sure there are many that are like that. But we've found a place where the Good News is still proclaimed faithfully, and where we can hear it and live it in a generous way that has room for struggles and differences.
One phrase that was new to me on coming into the Lutheran tradition is "remembering your baptism." The Lutheran view of baptism is that of God acting through the water, setting his seal on us. Instead of being challenged to try harder, to recommit our lives, to promise God more, we remember that God already did it all, we recognize that God has guided us this far, we look for how God is working now, we know that it's still all God.
So today I'm remembering with gratitude the way God has spoken to me, through the places I have been, through the churches I have attended, through my baptism when I was eight, through my parents' teaching, through God's people and His world and people who don't see God as I do but have yet grown my faith anyway. 'Tis grace has brought us safe thus far, and grace shall lead us home.