In Holy Week, we witness our Lord’s suffering and death, the darkness and abandonment of the tomb, the despair of sin, rejection, and betrayal. Easter, however, leads us out of despair and into hope, out of the tomb and into new life. The Resurrection of Jesus is more than a commemorative event, it is the very meaning of God’s love. Through our Lord’s Resurrection we know that destruction and death will not have the final word. By the Resurrection of Jesus Christ the whole world witnesses God’s plan of salvation: “that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made…” (Book of Common Prayer, 280.)
Several weeks ago, the St. Peter’s Choir sang an anthem composed by Harold Friedell with words by Edith Williams, Jesus, So Lowly:
Jesus, so lowly, Child of the earth: Christen me wholly, Bring me new birth.
Jesus, so lonely, weary and sad; Teach me that only Love maketh glad.
Jesus, so broken, Silent and pale; Be this the token Love will not fail.
Jesus, victorious, mighty and free; Teach me how glorious death is to be.
Edith Williams’s words are so haunting because they exemplify the depth of our Easter faith: Death is not the final word for those who follow in the way of Jesus. Our Lord’s victorious triumph over the grave is not a sentimental symbol, but a clear and distinct sign of this simple Easter truth: Love will not fail.
The Reverend Jacob E. Pierce, Associate Rector