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We have experienced the joy of Easter in the city, the country, the desert, and the beach, but experiencing Easter in Mt. Baldy is one of our favorite memories. We lived there for eight years, and it quickly became a tradition for our five young grandchildren. They came up from the cities below and spent part of Holy Week with us preparing for Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter.
They helped Granddad build the cross from branches found on the forest floor our first year. They climbed the hill and planted it firmly. Stones were placed around it to keep it steady. Sometimes repairs were needed, but most of the time the cross seemed to withstand the forces of wind, rain, and snow.
Kimball draped the cross with a purple cloth. It stood humbly on the mountainside above his study that we called the Servant’s Quarters. The children would run up the hill and place fresh wildflowers that grew alongside the creek beneath the cross. We had our daily meditations during Holy Week in sight of the cross.
On Good Friday he removed that cloth and replaced it with a black one. The children’s flowers lay wilted and decaying ‘neath the cross, but when they joined us for this day of quiet, they surprisingly seemed to understand its significance.
On Easter morning just at daybreak, Kimball climbed the hill again and took the black cloth off the cross, and draped it with a white one. He buried the dead flowers and replaced them with Calla Lilies from our flower garden. Having done this, he began yelling to all of God’s creatures, “He’s alive! Christ Jesus has risen! He has risen indeed! Hallelujah! Thanks be to God!
Throughout the day our family would pause and look up to the cross and feel the love and sacrifice it represented. ~ May you, also feel the joy of Easter!
Agape, Pam Coburn
Seeing the snowcapped mountains last week over Claremont reminded us of one Easter we had while living in Mt. Baldy. It was unlike any we had ever experienced. There were no Easter flowers but Mother Nature surrounded us with beauty. There were no comfortable pews but we had big rocks that could seat more than one and we shared quilts and blankets for comfort. We had no pipe organ, only guitars, but their music, along with our voices, echoed throughout the mountainside. You could almost feel the movement of the trees and brush, the squirrels and deer joining in the songs of Easter with us.
All of Mother Nature seemed to come to a hush as Kimball began to preach the Easter message. The clouds floated around us like angels dancing and rejoicing. The sun began to peek over the snow-covered mountains. It was cold out in the elements but we were warmed by the Holy Spirit.
The old rugged cross stood before us but somehow the sting of it was taken away. As we gathered close to each other, tears came to many. I noticed a child wiping his mother’s tears in sweet love. “Because He Lives” never sounded so powerful.
Alleluia, Christ is Risen!
May your Easter be Happy and Blessed, Kimball and Pam
Two-thousand years ago, Christmas came humbly in a stable. The light of a magnificent star showed the way to the place where the Christ Child lay. There were gifts to welcome the babe. What gifts, you ask?
The donkey brought the young mother-to-be to the place her child would be born, the lamb warmed the newborn with its woolly coat, the angels kept watch day and night, the shepherds welcomed Emmanuel, the wise men brought gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. But the real gift of Christmas is the Babe himself. He isn’t a gift to a particular people, but a gift to be shared with all the world. This incredible gift has no price tag, but it does have a cost.
If we truly have the spirit of Christmas…if we are to fully feel the love and compassion of Christ’s coming, we must bow like the shepherds. We must come humbly and gently to the stable. We must identify with the poor, the homeless and marginal people of our world. We must feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, welcome the stranger, clothe the naked, care for the sick and visit the imprisoned. We must share the simple, yet profound power of Christ’s love by the way we live our faith and invite others to faith.
May Christmas be a time to reignite your desire to be a faithful followers of the Christ Child. That is when you will know and feel the message of Christmas.
God bless you and your family in this season of hope and love. Merry Christmas!
Kimball and Pam