Last Easter, I was barely through my first trimester of pregnancy. We were several weeks away from finding out that we were expecting a baby boy with a very broken heart. And if you're here, you know what has happened since then: how he fought hard for his life after he was born, how everything went horribly wrong, and how we held him in our arms when he died.
|Being confirmed, Easter Vigil 2010|
It was believing in the resurrection that made it possible to let him go.
As I returned home from the Easter Vigil service last night, I was thinking about the experience of that service and all that has happened since the last Easter Vigil when I was received into the fullness of the Church. Through the first three Old Testament readings and their subsequent psalms, the church is in darkness save for the Paschal candle. Before the reading to the epistle of Romans, the lights are turned on and the Gloria is sung for the first time since before the beginning of Lent. Christ has come, he has been raised -- we were once in darkness, and then comes a great light, and it illuminates everything.
It's such an incredibly joyous moment in the liturgy. Joy bubbled up in my heart, and it felt as though I might have been floating inches off the ground. He is risen.
And not only is He risen, but His resurrection is a preview of what waits for us.
We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52
As I go back to those final moments with Ewan in that hospital room, I remember that it was just James and Ewan and I. Just like He asked Mary and Martha before He raised their brother Lazarus, I sensed Christ asking me the most important, soul-deep question: "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live ... Do you believe this?"
I trembled, I held my breath, and I said yes.
That's the special meaning Easter holds for me this year: Christ's victory over death means that ultimately death won't have the victory over us either. His resurrection is a preview of ours. His resurrection, I remembered last night, is a preview of Ewan's. Christ will raise him with a perfect body.
You know what that means? Happy Easter!