“He Is Risen!!” By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell (Guest Blogger)

He is RISEN!!

By Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell

Scipture Readings: Matthew 28:1-20; Luke 24:1-12; Mark 16:1-20; John 20:1-31

Key Verses: Luke 24:6-7; John 20:30-31

“He is not here, but He has risen. Remember how He spoke to you while He was still in Galilee, saying that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.”

“Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

“HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!” Christians everywhere will say this tomorrow—it’s Easter! I remember the church I grew up in had the most jubilant of celebrations on Easter morning. I went to church at Saint James’s Episcopal Church in Richmond, VA. I remember the priest as having a resounding voice as he entered the sanctuary on Easter morning with children carrying Easter banners in a parade behind him, his voice booming in song, “Jesus Christ is risen today, Hallelujah!” It was a fabulous parade of colors—purple, yellow, white, and more. It was also a celebration in flowers, as each family brought their “Mite Box Offerings”—small cardboard boxes filled with money and each box decorated in fresh flowers. These small boxes were placed in a huge Cross-shaped wooden case designed to hold them and once each family filled in their boxes on the cross, it was beautifully decorated in flowers—a tribute to new life, to Jesus, to his resurrection. It was stunning to look at and a beautiful celebration. The music with the pipe organ was magnificent!

Even before going to church, like most Christian families in America, my brother and sisters and I had all received Easter baskets of colored eggs and candies. And, of course that was special, but I remember feeling that one of the most special times on Easter morning was going outside to gather the fresh flowers for the mite boxes from my mother’s garden. Even today the spring bulbs are among my favorites of flowers—yellow daffodils and hyacinths were blooming and were the flowers we usually placed on our boxes. I remember many Easter mornings when I felt that there was something so special about the morning, the dew on the grass, usually sunshine, a feeling that I could feel that He was alive—I knew it and I believed it. It was fresh to me every Easter morning and still is.

Faithful readers–please read the scripture readings above—they say it all. They tell the story of His resurrection—all four gospels tell of it, how the tomb was empty, how the angels were at the tomb to tell them that “He is risen,” how He appeared to Mary Magdalene, how He appeared to His disciples, how He appeared to many, how He showed Thomas the wounds in his hands and feet! HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN, INDEED!

Have a very Happy Easter! Celebrate His Resurrection! Celebrate His Love! And share that love with your families, your friends, and all you meet!  HAPPY EASTER!

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, HAPPY EASTER! We celebrate your resurrection, that you are the Christ, the Living God who loves us. Thank you for your sacrifice! Thank you for the love you share with us—may we go now and share that love with others in your name. Amen.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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