Happy Easter! ... some thoughts.

Yesterday morning (Saturday),  I was conducting a baptismal service for one of the children in our ward (cf. parish).  A great weekend for anyone to be baptized.  It's extra special.  It's Easter weekend during which the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior are observed and celebrated. And according to the apostle Paul, baptism is in likeness of the death, burial and resurrection of Christ.

Romans 6:4
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Baptism is the ordinance by which we experience newness of life, like Christ's resurrection to new and everlasting life.  Spring, as a season, even enhances the resurrection and baptism message of newness of life, as plants and flowers start to bloom and blossom again.

The day before yesterday was Good Friday!  Good in the sense that Christ died for our sins.  And if Friday was a good day, then Easter Sunday should be called a "better day". Better Sunday. It's the morning of the resurrection, which is at the heart of the gospel - a word that means "good news" (tala lelei) of Christ overcoming death. The resurrection is the one event upon which the message of Christianity solely rests.  Without the resurrection, there would not have been any good news - no gospel.

Of the many miracles that Jesus performed - healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out evil spirits, etc.- I think the one that best foreshadows the essence of the Atonement, hence Easter, is the one where Christ heals the woman with a bleeding condition ("an issue of blood").   The woman has had the condition for twelve years, and according to the law, she is considered unclean.  And anything that she touches becomes unclean too.  She had learned that Jesus was passing by and she was determined to touch the border of his garment, having faith that she would be healed. She was able to reach out and touched the hem of the Savior's clothes.  At the same time, Jesus felt virtue - and strength - gone out of him.

Luke 8:46
And Jesus said, Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.

The woman came forward and fell down before Jesus and she was healed.

The main element in the Atonement is blood.  In Gethsemane, Christ bled from every pore. On the cross, he was also bleeding from his many wounds. By his blood we are made clean.  As Christ was in the process of atoning for our sins, he experienced virtue and strength being drained from him. In the case of the woman, the irony is that blood made her unclean but it was also her tainted blood that initiated her healing and cleansing.  It's almost as if Christ healed the woman's blood, possibly from his own blood (symbolically, at least) - as virtue was gone from him when his garment was touched.  Blood is life.  And when Christ healed the woman's blood condition, he was in essence giving her life - at least another lease on life. Again, Christ became "unclean" from the tainted blood of the sins of the world. And he spilled his own blood to give us new life; to make us clean and for us to gain the unconditional blessing of immortality (tino ola pea) through the miracle of this Easter morn. The miracle of the Resurrection.

Have a Happy Easter!


Happy Birthday to Me ...hahaa

It was the weekend of my birthday and the USA Sevens as well - in Vegas. Rumors have it that this is the first and likely the only time the USA Sevens will be in March, as opposed to February.  There were also rumors that they moved it to March this year just in honor of my birthday ...hahaaa.  And several events happened at the same time.  There was the NASCAR (auto racing), the Fight (someone beating up another...of course there’s always a fight in Vegas), College Basketball post-season tournament (West Coast Conference) and of course the Sevens, all on top of the usual fun and 7-7-7 crowd.  It was bedlam indeed in Vegas over the weekend.

And so with best wishes and compliments of some generous family members and friends, we went and became part of the mayhem. To cheer for the Manu, and if the Manu was not doing well, we’d cheer for the USA, and if the USA did not fare well, we’d cheer for the All Blacks, and then we also cheered for Fiji, after Samoa beat them on Friday. There was a Fijian cheering section right next to us on Saturday. We were an international cheering team with all these connections. Well, Fiji ended up being the champions. Congrats FIJI!   That was actually good for the Manu Samoa because that will give them the bragging rights of beating the champions. lol!  The Manu, however, won a ipu (trophy).  Ia poo se ipu ki, ipu mafolafola, ipu omea, ipu popo, ae o le mea sili o la e maua se ipu ...hahaaa.  Malo le faamalosi Manu.  Malolo ia i le malolo a le tamali’i, aea?  Ae kou ke o aku gei fo’i okegia oukou e Stui.  Ia koe kaumafai mai i lea kausaga.  

Some pics.....

...en route to Vegas
"I think, therefore I am" ~ Descartes    ...lol!!
...it's what the manu players need: powerful athleticism

samoa vs. scotland

...manu and scotland players leaving field after game

... us with two of our children

...family/all blacks fans enjoying the games 

Lady Liberty ... not NY but Vegas

Eiffel Tower ...not Paris but Vegas (view from hotel room)

LV (large/long vehicle) ... not in LA (Lalomanu Aleipata ..lol) but Vegas 

"C'mon Manu! ...nice try! ... try again!" ..hahaa..punning on "try" (or "touchdown")

... me and her enjoying the games


...and me - heading home... we'll be back!