Our day began with worshiping with our Montpellier Community Sunday morning! It was an awesome and special (read below to find out why) service!! We felt so blessed to be with them, worshiping our risen Savior together!!!
Then we invited our American friends, who we met in France, and who are moving back to the states soon, over for Easter lunch. It's been such a blessing getting to know them, and for JJ to have a little American friend in school during a tough time of adjustment to a school in a new culture and language.
We tried to have a very French Easter meal, and it was, but with some American influences:
Entree (French for appetizer): Baguette with "foie gras" and carrot soup
Plat (French for main course): Lamb (A French Easter tradition but according to Julia Child), with sides of sauteed mushrooms, mashed potatoes, side salad and bread
Cheese: We shared our hairy/stinky French cheese with them with tiny bits of chocolate and strawberries (in France cheese is a traditional course just before dessert)
Dessert/Coffee: Our friend, who had given up dessert for Lent, made a chocolate pound cake which was heavy and awesome.
True to French culture, it was a meal that began around 1:30 p.m. and ended around 6:30 p.m.
True to Easter tradition, we had an Easter egg hunt in our apartment, which the kids loved. They also dyed Easter eggs and colored sugar Easter cookies.
And the fun continued...Our French friends/neighbors, who had us over for dinner Saturday night, told us that traditionally Monday is when Easter is celebrated in France which is why everyone had off from work and school today. They told us that at the stroke of midnight a clock sprinkles Easter eggs and other treats all over the garden, and when the kids hear the first bell the next morning, they run into the garden to search for the hidden treats. JJ was invited to search with his little friend, Clement, this morning, and they had a blast in the garden.
Paques Weekend = First Communion
It was the first time that the children at our church had communion with the adults. Thus, it was also the first time JJ had communion. It was very moving for us. As Didier explained it in French, I explained it to JJ in English in his ear.
Me: JJ, we do this to remember Jesus, because he died for us
JJ: When can I eat the bread?
Me: When everybody else does. We eat it together, as a community, as a family.
JJ: What about the juice? Can I drink that now?
Me: No, it's the same with the bread. Right now, Didier is telling us the story of how Jesus said to his disciples before he died to do this and remember him. Do you remember what happens on Easter?
JJ: He lives! Now, can I drink the juice?
Me: No, not yet...(minutes later) O.K., now you can eat the bread and drink the juice
JJ: (he's watching me drink my juice...) Mommy, can I finish yours?
Me: Why not...
Just after, we prayed. I peeked at him, saw that his eyes were closed and in this moment couldn't help but think that something in him had changed.
What a great first Easter weekend in France!!!