I have been a churchman for over 85 years. If you subtract those times I have had a disagreement with the church, and those times I have been too busy with human pursuits to pay any attention to my faith, I suppose that number would be considerably less.
I think that confession is true for a lot of us who call ourselves Christian. In my own instance there has been one thing that always brings me back, and reestablishes my belief and my faith, and that is the Easter event, when the story of Death, and then resurrection gives me the hope I need to continue being faithful.
The Lessons and hymns which will be heard across the land this Easter Sunday will calm the doubts, and offer the joy that God loves us, and wants us back in relationship with him, through his Son Jesus. When we gather in our places we will shout the truth as we see it; “The Lord has risen, He has risen indeed!” We will return to our homes and lives with all the faith and hopefulness we need to continue in the light of love and the hope needed to get us through tribulations.
The prophet Isaiah predicted and posed that hope 700 years earlier when he said: “They shall not labor in vain, or bear children for calamity; for they shall be offspring blessed by the Lord ... before they call I will answer, while they are yet speaking I will hear. The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the Lion will eat straw like the ox.” Our continuous hope will be fulfilled.
John’s gospel speaks of how Mary Magdalene went to the tomb when it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. She ran to tell the others; and Peter and another disciple came. They saw the cloths he had been wrapped in, and they went in and found the tomb empty. The disciples returned to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she looked in and saw two angels. They asked why she was crying. She told them they had taken the Lord, and she did not know where they had laid him. She turned, and Jesus appeared and said to her “Mary”, and when she recognized him she answered “Rabbouni” which means teacher. Jesus said to her, “Go to my brothers and tell them, I am ascending to my father and your father, my God and your God.” Mary went to the disciples and announced, “I have seen the Lord’ and she told them all that he had said. In that message she brought hope to you and me, and the world.
The Rev. George O. Martin is an Ordained Deacon at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 17th and Adams, Great Bend. Send email to email@example.com.