Sunday, April 12, 2009

He Is Risen!

He is risen indeed.

Years ago, when I was stationed in Greece, I loved the joy with which my neighbors celebrated Easter. There were fireworks, there was roasted lamb, and everyone greeted each other saying "Xhristos Anesti!" (I can't really write in Greek, but that's an approximation.) to which everyone answered in Greek, "He has risen indeed."

This marks another Easter away from my family. There have been enough now that I'm not certain how many times I've been separated from them on this important day. That's one of the prices I pay for the privilege of doing what I do. (And no, I'm not being sarcastic. I really am privileged to serve our nation and to work with its finest young people in some of the most exciting and challenging places in the world.) I like to think that not many more Easters away will be required of me. My kids are growing up, and I fear that by the time I'm home again, they will be that much closer to losing interest in Easter baskets and egg hunts.

One thing they won't outgrow, though, is an appreciation for what Easter is all about - not the baskets and the eggs, not a mysterious Harvey-sized bunny hopping along distributing candy - but a God that loves them so much that He would send his only son to lead a blameless life, die a horrible death, and rise from the grave in order to pay the penalty for their sins.

I hope you share that appreciation, and the joy of my old neighbors in a small village on a Greek island, and I hope you will greet someone today with that same reminder of God's great love for us. He has risen indeed.