The forecast had predicted rain, but when I awoke Easter morning, the sun was slowly rising over the Yangtze and casting a familiar hazy glow over the waterway.
Yes, this was going to be gorgeous day for Easter in Luzhou.
Easter Worship at the Luzhou Protestant Church
It was a full house when I arrived for choir rehearsal at 8:30 a.m. at the Luzhou Protestant Church. In the upstairs choir room, we all scrambled to find our robes and then have last-minute part practice. Director Lu (John) gave final instructions to everyone about the service’s program, then off we went.
The ushers had cleared out a side section of the church for all the choir members to sit together. The children wouldn’t be coming in until it was time for them to sing. This is because Easter Sunday, Pastor Liao gets very inspired for worship.
After opening prayers, scripture readings, hymns and the regular choir anthem, it was time for Pastor Liao to take the pulpit. Her 1 hour and 10-minute message was a long one to sit through for me but it brought applause from the congregation members when she finished. That is the first time I have heard Chinese applaud in our church except for visiting church leaders. Her message was certainly an inspiring one.
When it was time for the children to join us, everyone anxiously awaited the dance number and then our co-operative choir effort with all ages present, from the very young to the very old. The kids were a bit shy but their voices could still be heard throughout the sanctuary. I noticed the usual murmurs of talking from the elderly went silent so everyone could hear.
After our “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”, we hustled off the platform at 10:40 a.m. for the next part of the service to begin.
It was time for baptisms, with over 20 adults being brought into the fold. After that, communion was given for the congregation and those now joining our numbers. What a lovely welcome for our new brothers and sisters!
After 3 hours of worship, morning services ended and everyone joyfully headed out into the lovely sunshine to enjoy the rest of the day.
That included myself, having had a wonderful Easter Sunday back in Luzhou after 3 years of absence.
Tomb Sweeping Festival （清明节）Brings a 3-day Holiday
While Easter never brings a holiday in China, this year Easter happens to fall close to April 6, Tomb Sweeping Festival. Our school will have Wednesday to Friday off, which will also include Saturday and Sunday. On Tuesday, I will be heading off to Chengdu to visit with some friends and enjoy the company of those at my swimming pool.
Believe it or not, I have met more Christians at the Meng Zui Wan swimming pool than anywhere else in Chengdu. One of the regulars, who spent 10 years in America as a business woman, informed me on my last visit that she has been talking to the lifeguard about the Bible.
“Do you see that foreigner who swims so fast?” she told him. “She’s a Christian!”
I’m not sure if she was implying that Christians swim fast, or believing in Christianity helps you swim fast, or to swim fast, you have to be a Christian, but it certainly impressed him none-the-less.
I’ll Be Back After a Week
With the upcoming holiday, I won’t have access to my website for at least a week. Just wanted to update everyone on my excellent Easter celebrations and upcoming venture to Chengdu.
Until next time, here’s wishing you Ping An (Peace) for your week and a very happy spring!