Immanuel, God with us in our nature, in our sorrow, in our lifework, in our punishment, in our grave, and now with us, or rather we with Him, in resurrection, ascension, triumph, and Second Advent splendor. Charles Spurgeon
Meditation: My daughters love the cemeteries in Germany. They are different from those here in the US that often have long lines of graves on open fields. In Germany, however, most cemeteries look like gardens. They have paths and trees and many benches. We walk on the grass that is still short from the winter time. The sun is warming the earth. The birds are singing and reassure us that the winter is over. The walkways are familiar, many names are known to me after growing up in this town. We carry a bouquet of daffodils in our hand and a vase for the grave in our backpack. And then we sit for some time on one of the benches close to my father’s (their grandfather’s) grave. We are still, I tell a few stories while remembering my Dad. Are there images that come back to me, or voices? Are there special experiences? While we remember, the birds are singing. It is sunny and still, and painful and intense. What can we do? We can decorate the grave and pray, we can surrender our Dad and grandfather who died into God’s care. And we can look for signs of his presence among us. Every time a butterfly comes along, since their early childhood, I told my daughters to remember their grandfather. He loved the symbol of the butterfly as a sign of the resurrection. And we remember him and see his beauty every time a butterfly comes along.
Prayer: God, today on Easter Sunday we remember all those who died and who we believe to be resurrected with you. We feel their presence in our hearts. We share their stories among us. We choose symbols that connect us with them and that remind us of their resurrection. From generation to generation, those we love will never be forgotten. Amen
And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. John 14:3 (NIV)