Good morning all! Happy Friday! Today we get to hear from someone I am very excited about..my dad!! Tom McHill is known to some as Judge McHill (circuit court judge in Linn County) or long time attorney or fellow church goer and leader at Lebanon United Methodist Church or just the greatest dad ever. He loves to play guitar, travel, hang out with his kids, and collect “A Christmas Carol” things and stories. My dad is a deeply spiritual person who has a definite call as a lay person to preach and struggle with faith. I could gush all day but I won’t….here is my dad…
17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do. 18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ. 19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach,and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.
Growing up, my family celebrated Easter as a “minor” holiday – kind of like Valentine’s day, with church. Oh, the Easter Bunny brought a basket filled with candy and if we wanted to have an egg hunt, we would go to church on Saturday. Mom might have us dress up a bit more for church, but the holiday itself was not a really big deal.
As I got older, married, with kids (our two oldest are pictured above – maybe you recognized the one in the dress?) our family realized the importance of Lent as a way to take count of ourselves in the anticipation of Jesus sacrificing himself on the cross on Good Friday. We really did celebrate, and still do, on that Sunday morning as we gather together, one more time, to take stock of our family and enjoy just being together. We still go to church together (unless one of us has to work on Sunday), we have the Easter Egg Hunt organized by Aunt Martha, the annual “Easter Bowl” football game and a great meal and time together. But, unlike my childhood, God is at the center of things for our celebration.
Maybe it’s because Eileen’s father’s birthday is on April 4 – sometimes Easter day itself – or maybe because her parents are 93 and 92, but I think that this Easter will be one of our most special of all. We celebrate with the knowledge that our time as a “complete family” nears its limits, while maintaining our hope that there may be more Easter Sundays together. This year, more than ever, we face the realization that no matter what our “citizenship” may be on Earth, God calls us to that higher form of “citizenship” in taking up his cross and following Jesus, the Christ. Our lives here are meaningless without our continued loyalty to God.
So, no matter what happens in the coming year, join our family in contemplating our commitment as, first, citizens of God and then, contemplate our comittment to this world. Without the former, the latter simply loses meaning.