Dr. Tim’s Encouraging Word

The bunnies are coming out.  I now have three of them in my office that have been given to me over the years.  And I even have a Snoopy “bunny” with rabbit ears.  It must mean that Easter is coming.
I have an Easter Egg painted, and an Easter candle.  I’m getting in the mood for Easter.
This past week in one of our staff meetings, we shared memories from our first Easter as children.  It was amazing to hear the stories.  Several told of a “sunrise service” that was memorable.  It caused me to remember a sunrise service I attended as a child.  Of course it was early in the morning before kids should be awakened, but it was also cold and windy, and then, it was on top of a hill by the cemetery.  Yes, a cemetery!  I remember singing Up from the Grace He Arose with the few standing near while I looked around at the tombstones in the cemetery.  It was not a comforting experience.
Of course that was years ago. 
There are bunnies and chocolate and eggs and flowers and everything imaginable to remind us of Easter.  My understanding of Jesus’ resurrection is broader and deeper now than it was as a kid standing in that cemetery.  But, as you can tell, the image is stuck and the “recording” of the song is still playing in my mind.  I don’t mind bunnies and chocolate and eggs and flowers, and all the prompters we see.  They stay in my vision for a moment, but imagining the morning of the Resurrection is lasting.
Easter is about Jesus, but it’s about us, too—and eternal life.  Recently, we seem to be having frequent memorial services.  They are Christian memorial services, so we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, and our own future resurrection in the sense that we are headed to eternal life and heaven after death on earth.  Recently I mentioned these words, “Christ is on both sides of the grave.”
He arose. 
This is the season of bunnies and chocolate and eggs and candles—and the empty grave.  May the Spirit continue to teach us the broader and deeper lessons of Easter.
Your pastor,