Lent is almost over, and Eastertime is come once more. What does it mean to you? Is it a time of restoration....
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Salvation Sound - April 2011

Posted on April 5, 2011

This article was published in April 2011. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Salvation ArmyLent is almost over, and Eastertime is come once more. What does it mean to you? Is it a time of restoration for you? A time to reanimate your life? To infuse with courage and hope? On Easter day Christ rose from the grave after His crucifixion. He resumed His life.

Sometimes we find these things hard to believe - the Resurrection is perhaps easier to believe when we call to mind those lesser facts which have recalled us to life from the depths of self pity or depression. Maybe a certain piece of music “speaks” to you, or the songs of birds at dawn, a new love or friendship, or even just the reading of a well loved book, or having to move yourself because of someone’s urgent needs.

These things can give rise to an awakened sense of gratitude. Jesus was always saying thank-you to His Father; He took the cup and gave thanks. He took two fish and five loaves and gave thanks - just two examples - for throughout the gospels runs a stream of unspoken gratitude.

At this time of year it seems impossible not to feel grateful to God - especially in nature when we can see the new crops growing in the fields around us, shining from the touch of spring rains. Or see the green mist on the willow trees which precedes the first leaves, the colour of spring flowers, sunshine after clouds, new life on farms, simple things. “Consider the lilies” Jesus said, the ear of corn, the vine, the sparrows, the child. Seeds were I think one of His favourite symbols of rebirth and one that we as ‘country folk’ will understand. Easter day is the feast of happiness, joy and gratitude.

On it we should think of the kindness of Christ, for He forgave the appalling things done to Him by man whilst on this beautiful earth. Just a day or two before, in a haze of pain the dying Christ said “forgive them!” He turned to a criminal and told him that they would be together in paradise - such a hard thing for us to understand, let alone accept this reality. But we believe that Christ’s death invalidates death for us, for we too will see paradise! He lives and so we live -

I was there at the foot of the cross,
For it’s with my mind that I can see.
I know that when He died, it was for me.
That far away day, is yet very near.
I’m filled with wonder, and yes, sometimes fear
For my faith is weak, ‘though it is sincere.
Today it is to me that He calls,
He lifts me when I stumble or fall.
His presence is always by my side,
And it’s in His love that I abide.
Yes, I am here at the foot of the cross,
But I am not filled with a sense of loss,
For I now that He will come again,
And when He does there will be no pain.
It is here, the foot of the cross,
Wherever we meet, the foot of the cross,
the mercy seat.
The thought of His love, it’s undying ember;
I can’t forget----
       Do you remember?

Source: Focus, April 2011

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