By: Carol Moore
I had such a Blessed Easter, and I want to share it with all of you . . . .
It started out a little rough, I lost my phone. I remember specifically putting it in my jacket pocket, where I never put it, and went out to feed the pigs. Snow was 2 feet deep on the ground the first day, and I couldn't get the hen house gate open cause the bottom was frozen in the snow which turned to mush, frozen mud, or slop, etc. I remember half climbing into the hay bale container, to reach for hay for the three pigs, mother goat and baby, and then I could not find the phone.
Bill does go out every day to check, cause my eyes are so bad, I'd probably already stepped on it and pushed it into the mud, so in a million years it will be an artifact, fossil, etc. Anyway, Bill swears that I didn't loose it out there, cause several years ago I lost it, and six months later found it, in the crux of the black carpet (black phone), right under my front sear where my foot must have kicked it. So he's figuring it will show up eventually.
Anyway, we've been truly enjoying Holy Week, with a 7pm service each Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Re-capping Jesus's years on earth. Then Thursday was Maundry Thursday, actually the First Holy Communion was spent with his disciples and we replicate that here in churches all over the world every time we have holy communion.
Thursday was particularly eerie, in the church, because the altar is stripped bare, and the cross is draped with purple, to signify the last summer and the end of his reign on earth. Everyone left the church in silence, no one spoke in the parking lot because we knew the dread that was coming the next day.
Friday we were at Palmyra Moravian, but all churches did it. Because Jesus hung on the cross for 3 hours on Good Friday, and we sit vigil for that time. My children always spend Palm Sunday thru Easter Week, and Easter at Myrtle Beach with a sun rise service on the beach and ocean, Even at 8 year olds, they realized at 1pm every Good Friday, the sunny day got quiet, the clouds came over and a stillness fell about the camp ground. Everyone knew what was happening, and yet voices that were heard were only in a whisper. I felt it in the church, when out of the silence, every church bell in the area began to chim....bells rang....33 times to replicate the 33 years on this earth teaching the Good Newss....no matter how bad you are, God forgives, and you can start over again, with a clean slate. No other religion thru out history offered such compassion, and hope. My eyes filled with water and I weeped a loud, over come by the funeral durges on the organ. The salt of my tears dried on my face. I wept for those who do not know the "peace that passes all understanding" that can be offered, only believe. As I said, it is the holliest Week of Christian Calendar.
Saturday found us up early getting gold coins from the bank, to fill the easter eggs, and then collect the baby goat, 6 weeks old, to take to the Palmyra Easter Egg hunt. The Moravians do a great job and work on it all year round collecting over 500 gifts to give as prizes with the easter egg hunt which is held in the side yard of the church. The kids bring the plastic eggs, sit on the floor in our Education building gymnasium, and pull out the papers which each has a number. Then they go to the 6 tables filled with gifts, and collect their booty.
Of course having a six week baby goat, old enough to be taken from his mother for a few hours, is perfect timing for 2018 but not necessarily for another year when Easter Falls different...who knows if or what kind of baby will be born in another spring, but this year everything worked out. Cupid, born on Valentines day, was the perfect Easter Goat. He had never had a collar on before, nor a leash, but after the 20 minute ride in the car, when I petted him so much, he fell asleep, he was quite calm.
Everyone at church thought he'd be "scared" when a couple hundred kids and parents came squeeling in the door to open the eggs and get prizes, but if you consider where Cupid lives, he wasn't at all alarmed. The noise from the two Pilgrim Geese is ear shattering, the oink of three 150 lb pigs, adds to the choir, a rooster cockadoodle, and a cluck of a hen who is bragging cause she just laid an egg. The quack of the ducks, the whinnie of the old circus horse, were nothing for this young goat, so he nestled right down, letting any one pet him. Eventually we walked around the room among the rolling brightly colored eggs, and interacted with the kids. Then the adults got into the show and wanted their photos taken holding the goat, to send to their mothers for an Easter Card.
Just as we were coming out of the Ed building on our way home, and round roll of "goat jelly beans" fell from the back end of Cupid. He was a gentleman and didn't "let loose" in the building, thank heavens. Our rule is Play with the animals first and feed them second....remember, what goes in must come out....it's a gravity feed system, that God created and works well.
On the beautiful sunny day here in NJ the last day of March, we drove past our other pastor's home in Riverton, and knowing she might not be home. we heard voices in her husbands Christ Church, and I walked in with the goat, Pastor Richard Wrede, husband of my St. Stephen's Beverly pastor, was thrilled so he and all the parishioners had their photo taken with the Easter goat. Coming out of the Church, My pastor, Anne Wrede and daughter Katie came out of the house, and got their photos taken with Cupid. The warmth of the sun bounced off the gothic church and it's paved court yards, to make a day that we didn't want to go away, but it was back in the truck heading for home.
But I thought we might as well stop for a slice of Pizza, at Vinnies, Delanco, and see Patti Lynn, my old hair dresser, whose shop is next door. In with the goat, and the girls behind the chairs and several of the old ladies in the chairs, had their photos take with the Easter Goat,....Cupids name from switching from the Holiday on which he was born, to the Easter Egg holiday right before our eyes. Not to be over done, the owner of the Pizza parlor, Ellio, had his photo taken with the sign behind him to send it out to wish all his customers a Happy Easter. He was thrilled and so all his workers had their photos taken as well.
We're only half way home, when I said to Bill, drop me off at Sheila's my hair dresser, which is only two blocks from my home, and I'll walk back. But Sheila had time and cut my hair while the Easter Goat sat on a young mans lap, who was waiting for his wife to be done under the dryer. Photos were taken again, and then Cupid and I started walking down the street of our strip shopping center of half dozen stores. We stopped in at the Mens Barber shop, and wished everyone a Happy Easter, then on the the Chinese restaurant where the boys came out to get photos, the Laundromat was empty but two people waiting for wash got out of their cars and posed as well for shots. What did we ever do without these phone cameras.
The last stop was at Hispanic Hair dresser which was filled...every seat, and again the children sat in the chair and I put the goat on their lap as Mom and Grandmom took photos. They said this is better than an old paper Easter Card....and off went the photos to any and everyone they loved and wanted to send an Easter message.
As we left the parking lot of the strip shopping center to cross Green Street, and into our own parking lot, the baby goat began to bleet. He bleeted loud and strong, all the 400 feet but no answer from mother. I held my breath thinking she has escaped trying to find him and he was gone,,,but fear not....there she was, and her retort was ear shattering. I took Cupid's collar off, and laid him over the fence, as she came a-running for the greeting and a drink of milk.
We had gotten animal food from the pantry aka Sisterhood, yesterday, and used the next two hours to unload, rolls, fruit, lettuce, etc. into cupid's pen. The pigs, pony, chickens, ducks and geese all came running for the treats. Morgan Goat, Cupid's mother, stood silently, allowing the youngster to drink his fill. It had been two hours an a thirsty time on this Holy Easter Saturday. We took the second half of the truck load across the street to "Moore's home for wayward farm animals", and after distributing tons of unwanted food, we sat on the tail gate, the sky was blue, the sun was high and bright, no clouds were disturbing the blue. Isn't it a great day to be alive? God is good, Amen, and Amen.
Tomorrow the joy of Salvation will begin, knowing, everyone, not just Christians, Jews, or others, are allowed to come to the resurrection, knowing they have some one "watching their back", some one who is there when you are saD to hold the tissue box, someone to share your joys with, some one who will listen to the troubles of the day, someone to forgive....someone to lift you up, with forgiveness and do better tomorrow...Our dinner will begin at 3, with an egg hunt for College students, ie. Golden dollars in the eggs instead of candy (but some candy in a basket on the side).
We'll eat our Ham, and sweet potatoes, vegetable tray with sour cream dip, and be thankful that we have such an abundance....we have more than enough, where there are others who don't have enough....we thank God for our Blessings, and the Chance to start Fresh on Monday.....every Monday.....try to do it better, and your life will have found peace.
We hope you had a Happy Easter, as well,
Carole and Bill Moore, PSC New Jersey
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