For an ultra-religious family like mine, a combination of putting them all in the same space and giving them an occasion to talk about and celebrate Jesus, well, let’s just say it’s hard for them to talk about anything else. Here’s a play-by-play of an Easter weekend with my crazy Lutheran family.
7:04 p.m. – Attend an hour and a half long Good Friday service.
9:34 p.m. – Listen to Sister and Mother rave about the amazing and moving service and how one song brought them to tears.
9:18 a.m. – Mother & Pastor-in-law discuss chanting, hymns, and use of the divine service, and church politics for about 44 minutes.
4:35 p.m. – Sisters argue about whether Jesus was really in the ground for 3 days or 1.5 (Friday evening to Sunday morning), and they decide that no one knows because time was measured differently in the Bible.
6:28 p.m. – At dinner, the family discusses the different Good Friday services they attended, specifically hymns and service order, and go on to talk about why people shouldn’t be joyful or celebrate Easter on Friday or Saturday because Jesus was dead, until Sunday morning, nor should people celebrate with secular egg hunts and dyeing or Easter bunnies.
8:00 a.m. Mandatory Easter morning church service. Mother forces me to sing along to the hymns. Pastor-in-law delivers a sermon focusing on what if Jesus never rose from the dead? One problem with that, he said, would be that it would mean that Christianity itself is a big waste of time: bible studies, worship services, devotionals, prayer, the whole thing would be nothing but a huge waste of time. Like usual, all I could do was stay silent and keep my screams and comments (no, it didn’t happen, and yes, it is a huge waste of time) inward. He also said that Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope, and if he never rose, then we would instead have despair. I mean, I don’t personally find despair in my belief that that never happened, but just because something gives you hope and saves you from despair doesn’t mean that it’s true. He also went on about how Jesus’ bodily resurrection means that we will all have bodily resurrections because if heaven is just a bunch of souls floating around, then it doesn’t count as eternal life because we need to have our physical bodies which will rise from the dead. I don’t know if he meant our bodies rise as soon as we die (which obviously they don’t), or if they will all rise after the rapture (which: what? ew), but to me, that part of the sermon was pretty much a bunch of nonsense.
10:28 a.m. Everyone discusses what was good and bad about the service (good: the aforementioned sermon; bad: the senior pastor wasn’t specific enough about who can take communion; he said you can come as long as you believe in God but really you have to be a confirmed member of the LCMS).
11:04 a.m. Family laments about Family Christian Stores closing.
11:46 a.m. Sister says if we watch TV, it should be about Jesus.
2:18 p.m. Sister says atheists are bad influences.
3:50 p.m. Two sisters makes hymn lyrics their Facebook statuses.
6:24 p.m. Sister: “If Britney Spears had had Snapchat in 2007, then maybe she wouldn’t have had her crisis because she could have just used a filter to see what she would look like bald.”
That last quote doesn’t really show how insanely Christian my family is, but it might give you an idea of some of the other crazy things that come up at family dinner and why I do actually love them rather than hate them. Happy Easter!