Hallelujah! He is Risen!

Easter is the Best Holiday on the calendar!

My favorite part is the congregation’s response to the pastor’s opening words on Resurrection Sunday:

Hallelujah! He is Risen!

He is Risen indeed!

I’ve been known to go to more than one church on Easter Sunday – as many as three morning services – just so I can hear the Glorious News over and over and over again.

The most moving Easter Service of my life

… took place when my oldest son was a young adult. We were asked to be part of our church’s Easter program: a series of scenes that take place at the foot of the empty cross.

We played mother and son – which was a bit of a stretch for us – not because of our relationship, of course. But because neither of us had ever acted in a play. That is, unless you count elementary school programs, which I don’t think you can.

We were sitting in the back of the church, incredibly nervous, waiting for the other scenes to play out. My son looked at me and said, “I don’t want to do this.”

“I don’t either,” I replied. “Let’s go.”

But neither of us budged.

Then we were on.
The only two actors in the final scene.
The lights came up on my son, looking up at the empty cross in awe.

I entered from stage right, walked up behind him, and said,

“I’ve been looking for you, and I thought you’d be here. It’s time to come home, Son.”

My son excitedly told me about the all amazing things that had happened. Then he joyfully declared,

“Jesus has risen from the dead! He’s alive, Mother! He’s alive!”

After a few minutes of dialogue, my son ran off to share the Good News with anyone who would listen, leaving me standing there alone.

I took a few steps forward and
looked up at the cross, lost in silent wonder.  The lights dimmed.

It was very powerful.

That year our church had an empty tomb –

– a prop we’d used in another production. And on Sunday morning, they set it up the in the parking lot in front of the church. As everyone leaves the service, our director – dressed in her biblical costume – excitedly urges our whole congregation (Matthew 28:6),

“Come and see! He’s not here! He is Risen!”

I walked over, looked into the empty tomb, and suddenly …
Spontaneous tears as joy and wonder flooded my entire being.

And that’s the Truth about why I love Easter.

Hallelujah! He is Risen!
He is Risen indeed!

He is Risen