Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Whispering Hope of Easter

(written several years ago the Easter after my mother's death - The truths still cause me to rejoice this Easter!)
The Whispering Hope of Easter

Soft as the voice of an angel, Breathing a lesson unheard,
Hope with a gentle persuasion Whispers her comforting word:
Wait till the darkness is over, Wait till the tem-pest is done,
Hope for the sun-shine tomorrow, After the shower is gone.

Easter and hope are synonymous. Easter Sunday morning never arrives without its refreshing reminder that there is life beyond this one. True life. Eternal life.

As a family, like many others, we are dealing with the dreaded disease cancer this Easter. The battle makes your emotions rise and fall. For even the strongest of Christians you have moments when you feel like you live on what Charles Swindoll has called “The outskirts of hope.” There is the news that comes to some, “there is nothing more we can do.” We have heard that news and for a while the hope disappears. The setting of your house in order, the prearrangements with a funeral home, the contacting of lawyers and updating wills, the signing up with Hospice – it all has a tendency to keep a family on the “outskirts of hope.”

Then comes Easter morning. There is nothing like Easter to bring hope back to life. Easter has its own anthems. Easter has its own scriptures. And Easter has its own proclamation: “He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.”

Easter Sunday moves us from the “outskirts of hope” to the “center of heaven.” I will stand shoulder to shoulder with those of “like precious faith” and sing together, “Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!” And my heart will feel a transfusion of hope. My tear filled eyes will be the result of the mixture of sorrow and hope. All of a sudden there will be a power surge of hope that will flood over me. And not only me but all those like me who find themselves on the “outskirts of hope.” Fears will fade and lose their grip. Illnesses and death don’t seem so final. Grief over those who have gone on ahead is diminished. Our desire to press on in spite of the obstacles is rejuvenated. And the grace for another week is poured out to my soul. It happens every Easter . . . But better than that, it happens every Sunday!

The worst I ever experience is the “outskirts of hope.” And it’s only temporary until next Sunday. And even throughout the week I hear the “Whispers of Easter hope.” You as a class continue to be used of God to be those whispers of hope in our ears. In behalf of my entire family I want to thank you and say Happy Easter.

Hope, as an anchor so steadfast, Rends the dark veil for the soul,
Whither the Master has entered, Robbing the grave of its goal;
Come, O Thou blest hope of glory, Never, O never depart.

Whispering hope, . . . O how welcome thy voice, . . .
Making my heart . . . . in its sorrow rejoice.

Low in the grave He lay, Jesus my Savior;
Waiting the coming day, Jesus my Lord!
Vainly they watch His bed, Jesus my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead, Jesus my Lord!
Death cannot keep its Prey, Jesus my Savior;
He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord!

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

PB & J

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