Saturday, April 23, 2011

A Holiday From Grief

He is not here: for He is risen. (Matt. 28:6)

"May this Easter be full of blessing and comfort unutterable to all whose hearts are bereaved!  'He is not here, He is risen,' is as true today of our precious dead as of Him whom Mary and the disciples mourned so hopelessly, but who broke the bonds of the grave, and flung wide the doors of the great prison house to show us that the abode of the dead is really a place of light and life and joy."

O sad-faced mourners, who each day are wending
Through churchyard paths damp with dew,
Leave for today the low graves you are tending,
And lift your eyes to God's eternal blue!

It is not time for bitterness or sadness;
Throughout the world, the glad tidings tell;
Let you souls thrill to the caress of gladness,
And answer the sweet chime of Easter bells.

If Christ were still within the grave's low prison,
A captive of the enemy we dread;
If from the dark and gloomy cell He had not risen,
Who then could dry the bitter tears you shed?

If Christ were dead, there would be need to sorrow,
But He has risen, and death no longer has the final say;
Hush, then, your sigh, if only till the morrow,
At Easter give your grief a holiday.
                                                                                        --May Riley Smith

(This is from one of my favorite books, Consolation, by Mrs. Chas. E. Cowman, c. 1944.)  

Easter is my new favorite holiday.  It used to be Christmas, of course, followed closely by my birthday.   But after Anna died, those days lost their appeal.  The gifts and the parties were lacking something.  They were lacking someone.  But Easter was different.  After Anna died, I longed for Easter.  I needed to celebrate that Jesus had the power over death.  I needed to celebrate that there was a place prepared for me for eternity.  I needed to celebrate that there was more to life than what I could see. 
Today give your grief a holiday and celebrate.

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Awesome post. I love Easter too.