“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day.” (Luke 24:5b-7 NLT)
One Easter Sunday in Alaska when I was very small, we opened our front door and a wall of snow higher than the house looked back at us. There was no use digging through it. All the way out to the street would be just as deep. We’d have to wait for the plow that was not available on that holiday.
The “we” were tiny stair-step sisters wearing our new bonnets that tied under the chin. We had to go to church, certainly to show off how cute we were and to say our pieces for the children’s Easter program. My lisping youngest sister had learned her recitation: “De Wobin said, Good chewe, (cheer) good chewe. Spwing has come and Eastow’s hewe!”
Mother believed that there were many things that would cause God’s love to screech to a halt where Christians were concerned. Missing church was one of them, along with the usual list added onto the Ten Commandments like punctuation: the wearing of lipstick or earrings, dancing, drinking, smoking, more or less having a good time in general, and especially divorce — all the old familiar sins by which she judged any neighbours still speaking to us.
Her fiery fury at the possibility of staying home was enough to get my father digging out the back door to the dog sled, hitch up the dogs, strap us all on and somehow get us to the church, a few blocks away.
Yet, what was Easter even about? Not showing up all dressed up, but God’s grace and love for us when we acknowledged that we were sinners and asked for God’s forgiveness and help, because of the cross and the resurrection!
Mother said that God’s offer of forgiveness and salvation through Christ could be accepted only once. If we committed any of the many sins on her list, His love would be gone immediately, unless we begged, pleaded, and fasted, again and again.
It was very difficult to figure out how to grow in the Christian life with such a set of beliefs. “Oh well. No rest for the wicked,” she’d say, directly contradicting “Come unto Me and I will give you rest.”
Yet, the Bible teaches us that we can never reach the bottom of God’s love.
Mother was sincere. I’ll surely see her in heaven. But she missed out on the peace that God gives us, through faith.
Fortunately, the gospels are very clear about what happened at Easter: Christ’s death and resurrection; that because He lives, we shall live also; that here on earth, we can walk with the living Lord as our Saviour, through the trials and temptations of this pilgrim journey, bearing our crosses as He did and finding Him faithful and just. Easter is all about what God did to save us, not what we can do to save ourselves. What a good, satisfying existence it is, listening, trusting, and obeying, day by day.
Prayer: We are grateful, loving Father, for the fresh courage that You give from the clouds that continuously break over our heads. Thank You that we do not judge by feeble sense but trust You always for Your grace which comes clearest to us in Christ’s resurrection to eternal life, in which You promise that we shall share. Thank You for Your mysterious ways becoming clearer as we walk in faith today. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Copyright © 2022, by Rose DeShaw <firstname.lastname@example.org>, first published on the PresbyCan Daily Devotional presbycan.ca .
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
Reprinted from PresbyCan with author’s permission