Visiting Graves on Easter

By Michael Agnew
By Zabdi Piña
By Kristie Davis
By AJ Jerkins
By John Hames
By Makenzie Romero
By Caroline Khameneh
By Victoria Renken
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Dawn Johnson
By DJ Newman
By Mary Weyand
By Rob Nickell
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Nila Odom
By Sherene Joseph Rajadurai
By Kristi Sheffy
By Sharon Arrington
By Sarah Crawford
By Betsy Paul
By Angel Piña
By Elizabeth Piña
By Justus George
By Lori Kuykendall
By Chris Kuykendall
By Matt Holland
By Courtney Grimes
By Jessie Yearwood
By Brian Severski
By Brian Arrington
By Sandhya Curran
By Will Meier
By Clint Calhoun
By Jen Mayes
By Alf Laukoter
By Neil Wiersum
By Jim Henry
By Jenn Wright
By Kevin Harwood
By Nandi Roszhart
By Leah Vanhorn
By Janett Miller
By Isaac Harris
By Charlyn Valencia
By Chad Golden
By Jonathan Cortina
By Kuruvilla (K.O.) Oommen
By John Dyer
By Abe Paul
By Lauren Geppert
By Jennifer Durrett
By Penny Jones
By Jill Asibelua
By Jared Barnett
By Paul Martin
By Norm Headlam
By Kristi Herring
By Sissy Mathew
By Shannon Pugh
By Melanie Mechsner
By Michelle Garza
By Armando Galvan
By Jeremiah Betron
By Camille Holland
By Rod Myers
By Crystal Elwell
By Darcy Peterson
By Jason Elwell
By Amy Aupperlee
By Barry Jones
By Bryan Eck
By Tricia Kinsman
By Nat Pugh
By Sarah Kemper
By Dana Myers
By Craig Pierce
By Jim Woodward
By Andy McQuitty
By Pete Hyndman
By Kevin Dial
By Catherine & Elizabeth Downing
By Gerald Ridgway
By Jill Hoenig
By Sunitha John
By Tarrin Henry
By RozeLee Rugh
By Beverly Hogan
By Kendra Cordero
By Lisa Gajewski
By Bonnie Goree
By Young-Sam Won
By Chris Beach
By Tom Rugh
By Nick Vuicich
By Andy Franks
By Lead Team
By Jason Roszhart
By Harvard Medical School
By Justin K. Hughes, MA, LPC
By Sherene Joseph
By Earl Davidson
By Rebecca Perry
By Joe Padilla
By Christian Melendez
By Bruce Riley
By Isaac Harris
By Amy Leadabrand
By Ben Haile
By Shaun Robinson
By Natalie Franks
By Cathy Barnett
By Ryan Sanders
By Casey Pruet, The Grace Alliance
By Sharon Arrington
By Lauren Chapin
By Betsy Paul
By Alberto Negron
By Kelly Jarrell
By Michelle Mayes
By Jenn Wright
By Jill Jackson
By Terri Moore
By Robyn Wise
By Katherine Holloway
By Richard Ray
By Kurtlery Knight
By Bruce Hebel
By Neil Tomba
By Tony Bridwell
By Grayson McGovern
By Luke Donohoo
By Kathy Whitthorne
By Mike Moore
By Wade Raper
By Mike Gwartney
By Jo Saxton
By Dieula Previlon
By Jonathan Cude
By Ken Lawrence
By Jay Hohfeler
By Barb Haesecke
By Lindsay Casillas
By JoAnn Hummel
By Shawn Small
By Alice McQuitty
By Jonathan Murphy
By Peggy Norton
By Brent McKinney
By Irving Bible Church
By Irving Bible Church
By Ashley Tieperman
By Betsy Nichols
By Trey Grant
By Debbie Lucien
By Sue Edwards
By Suzie Robinson
By Paul Smith
In Hope & Healing
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As fellow Hope and Healing participants, I know you get it. “It” being the daily tension of living between the “already” of Jesus’ first coming and the “not yet” of Jesus’ return. And for me, the tension really hits home during the Lenten season. The 40 days leading up to Easter are painful, and I honestly don’t like Easter very much. It feels shameful to say, but it’s true.

Four years ago, my firstborn’s life was marked by the Lenten season. David was born a week after Ash Wednesday, and he died two weeks after Easter. On Ash Wednesday that year, I ashed fellow believers and proclaimed over them, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23). I was literally pregnant with hope and anticipation while simultaneously declaring in word and deed that apart from Jesus, we are all dead in our sins. Easter 2018 fell on April Fool’s, and as I sat in the NICU with David, I pondered the absurdity of the day. We serve a God who died and rose again. He is alive! And, my infant son was dying.

Death and life. Life and death. The line between the two is so thin, and it’s in that fragile and vulnerable place that we are called to abide with Christ. I take great comfort in knowing that my Savior is a man of sorrows and himself knows pain, loss, and unimaginable suffering. He gets me, and he gets you. He knows the heartache you carry, the wounds you bear, the labels stuck to you, and the weariness of living in a broken world where things are not as they should be.

I have immense hope because Jesus died to reconcile us to the Father and to make all things new. Because of Jesus’s dying and rising, we know that everything Jesus proclaimed is true and will come to fruition, all of it. We can count on the promise of eternal life, the defeat of death, the absence of tears, and the resurrection of the body. That is the future we look forward to.

But before we can proclaim, “He is risen!” we must first proclaim, “He has died.” Full stop. He has died. In our rush to proclaim the joy of our risen Savior, sometimes we paper over the weight of sin and death in our own lives and in the lives of others. And the problem with skipping to forced laughter is that tears aren’t given a chance to spill.

Ever since the introduction of sin and brokenness in the Garden, sorrow and joy have coexisted. And in our respective journeys toward hope and healing, we too will experience both joy and sorrow, often simultaneously. We regret missed opportunities while rejoicing in new ones. We mourn a former relationship while moving forward in another. We give thanks for our bodies while lamenting the effects of aging. To both rejoice and mourn, laugh and cry, seems to mark the human experience.

Sometimes you enjoy an Easter complete with a sunrise service, plastic eggs, and ham-induced comas, and sometimes you visit graves on Easter. This year, I will do both. And as I sit at David’s grave I will both grieve and give thanks that one day, this small grave will be empty. It’s just not yet.

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