Blessings and joy to you on this Easter Sunday morning. Every year these three final days of Holy Week bring comfort and strength. Each year I am reminded of their power and presence for me throughout the year. I am reminded of their presence in many of my days.
Good Friday was a perfect day here in Atlanta. The sky was blue and the air warm. And it was a day for so many of living out Good Friday’s loss and letting go. As a hospice chaplain, I know well the living out of Good Friday days. As I walked the hallways of our unit it was palpable for me. As I walked past rooms hearing soft gospel music and quiet words of release - as I walked the halls watching families and friends keeping vigil and shades drawn – as I walked the halls I yearned for something to sing or hum. I wished for some melody to accompany my heart. Good Friday songs so often for me come from a deep ache and get caught in my throat.
Holy Saturday has become more important and more meaningful every year. It is the next day. It is the dawning of the day after. After the death of a loved one or a dream has died. It is the day when you really thought the world had purpose and place and you fear you were wrong. It is the day of deep, deep silence.
And by lovingkindness Sunday comes. By grace and mercy Sunday comes. Easter Sunday. Another day, the next day. And the one that has made all the difference.
Easter Sunday has dawned this day in Atlanta.
I wonder what would have happened without the faith of those few who got up on Sunday morning and went to the tomb. They had lived through the long, aching, silent day before and still, still, still they got up and stepped out into faith.
We are told that they rose in the darkness to anoint Jesus. We are told that they walked quietly together to the tomb. And then the most amazing thing followed. We are told that when they arrived they were greeted by an angel who said to them, “He is not here. He is risen. Alleluia.”
Three days that continue to hold my faith and hold my heart. Three days that walk with me and hold my life. Good Friday’s truth of death and loss. Holy Saturday’s silence and waiting. And Easter Sunday’s Alleluia.
Friday and Saturday feel so empty, hours into days without a melody. But now, Sunday morning ~ well so many hymns are being sung to the glory of the one who lived, died and rose again. Death where is thy victory?
He is risen. He is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Working as a Hospice Chaplain, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.