Monday, April 6, 2009

The Hope and the Promise of Easter

Easter has a personal meaning for me that goes beyond its significance as a Holy Season of the church. Nine years ago on Palm Sunday I crossed the threshold of St. John’s Anglican Church in Duncan seeking to “come to believe” in that power greater than myself that could restore me to sanity and free me from the hold that addiction had on my life. I had known and loved the Lord as a child but that day my spirit was bankrupt and my heart was broken and despairing. I had no other hope, everything I had tried failed to bring healing or change.

I had hoped to slip into the church service unnoticed that morning, and to leave that way too, but the joyful Palm Sunday celebration was in full swing. I had a palm frond slapped into my hands and was instructed to go outside again and “process” into the church with the others, waving the palm frond and proclaiming, “Hosannah in the highest!” Amazingly, I did not drop the palm frond and run! Instead, like the rest of the people gathered, I waited out in the spring sunshine and then processed into the church as I was told.

I didn’t fully understand the religious significance of the procession at that time, but looking back I can see that this was actually a prophetic act for me. I didn’t know it that day, but I was returning home! I had begun the journey to the Cross; the journey from darkness into light; from despair to hope; from sin to righteousness; from death to life; and from shame to glory. Jesus’ mighty victory over the grave set me free from sin and death forever four months later when I invited Him into my heart and my life, and now I too am victorious over the grave. Jesus was willing to die for me! He loves me that much! “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me.”(Psalm 139:6) I am humbled and filled with awe and wonder every time I think of it and I can’t think of it without weeping tears of gratitude. Thank You, Jesus!

I recently heard a beautiful, heart rending song called “The Day Before You,” by a young man named Matthew West. The words speak so simply and beautifully of the change that happened in my life nine years ago. I close with a couple of lines from the chorus: I can't wait, to wake up tomorrow, and find out this promise is true, I will never have to go back to, the day before you.

PS: The stunning picture was shot by my son, Jeremy - a very gifted photographer. Can you see the Cross?

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