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Food for Thought - Musings

The Ancient Chant

Easter Sunday looms on the horizon full of promise and hope. Many will rise early to attend a sunrise service drawn by a popular speaker, a big name worship group or band. Some see Easter as an excuse to buy new clothes or gather as a family around a meal--but I am at the Easter service for one thing: that is to stand next to my brothers and sisters in Christ and together recite a declaration of hope in the midst of unbearable loss, a promised light against the stifling darkness of death. I am there to stand as one and say the words that have been said for centuries - He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! I will stand next to and with those who have lost mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews, grandchild and friends, the old and the all too young, those taken by disease, violence and accident. We who have heard that bell toll will stand together longing for the truth of those hope-filled words, He is risen. He is risen indeed to fan the flames of hope in our own hearts. We long for those words to wrap around us like a warm blanket of comfort as we declare and affirm Jesus’ identity as the Resurrection and the Life, and seek to hold on to the veracity of Jesus’ words, “… the one who believes in Me will live even if he dies…”


Below is a poem I wrote after the first Easter Service I led following the death of my son, Nathan. These sentiments I feel once again as I mourn the death of one of my former students, a dear sister in Christ, taken much earlier than I would have chosen for her.


The Ancient Chant

He is risen

He is risen indeed

these words burst forth

from a place

deep within

enthusiastically

earnestly

loudly

maybe too loudly


He is risen!

He is risen indeed!

I want to say

these words,

to chant them

again

and

again

and

again

Yes

I believe

I believe in the resurrection

of

Jesus, God’s son

of

Nathan, my son

I believe (help me in my unbelief)


I

bellow

out

these

words

my

heart aching,

weeping

hot

tears

of

sadness

and

grief

mingled

with

a smattering of

fragile hope
I believe (help me in my unbelief)


This Easter, say a special prayer for those who attend their first Easter service since the death of a loved one, and stand tall in solidarity with them, saying in a loud, strong voice, He is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Your voice helps to foster our fragile hope in the Resurrection and the Life. The only hope there is. He is Risen. He is Risen, Indeed- AMEN and AMEN.



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