Wednesday, March 26, 2008

CROSS PURPOSE 111

CROSS PURPOSE 111

An Easter Thought

Earlier this year, pretty close to each other, two people I knew very well died suddenly. The first was Bruce Grosser, who, with his wife Rosemary, often worshipped in the Sydney Parish with his kids and grandkids. Bruce collapsed and died on his daughter’s farm. He was 62. Shortly afterwards, Aimee Macgregor, who’d led work among young people for 10 years from Warrambui, died in a single vehicle accident near Yass.

We can ask ‘why’? We can ask ‘why’? till the cows come home. We can comfort each other with promises from scripture. But in the end we are left with hope only if the Easter Story is true. Consider the following:

It had better be true
Yesterday was Easter Sunday, and today I met a friend. I greeted him with, “He is risen!” “He is risen indeed!” He instantly responded, then added, “I must tell you what happened in church.”

He told me how he’d no sooner entered his pew than he recognized a childhood friend and playmate just in front of him.

In the moment for exchanging the greeting of peace, he eagerly touched her arm, then, as she turned, exclaimed, “He is risen!” To his surprise there were tears on her cheeks as she said, “He is risen indeed!” then added in a whisper, “AND IT HAD BETTER BE TRUE!” She then informed him of her husband’s recent death. Continued

Reflecting on our conversation. I recall my early childhood. What wonder-filled luxury Christmas presented in the happy procession of days, when seen from a child’s-eye view!

But years have passed, and now I’m old. Time has brought its gifts of joy, but heartache and sorrow, too.

I call to mind one special Christmas when the family news was bad. I had no heart for preparing with only a cloud-covered sky, but I knew that I must, and I did. Then I saw as never before what Christmas essentially is, not annual luxury, but daily, unrelenting necessity.

So with Easter.
It was fun, as a child, to bound down the stairs to find seasonal sweet-treats under each plate, but again, with the passing of time, and the shadow of death over our broken family circle, I’ve seen Easter as highest necessity. If hope is to flourish, IT HAD BETTER BE TRUE!
From Gerhard Frost “Reflections on Death and Resurrection”.

Something has always touched me deeply about that quote and that title. And it reinforces again and again the little truth – we believe it – can’t prove it – we trust Easter even though the terrible stuff happens to us to. We don’t have immunity. And therefore, for us, WORSHIP IS ALWAYS AN ACT OF DEFIANCE! Death is not the end. Easter says – Life is... because Jesus is... Jesus Lives!
Pastor Fred

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