Precious Pilgrim,

“I miss my Daddy.”  That was the thought that unexpectedly popped into my mind as I drove down the back alley to our church.  I saw an unknown man walking away from me and there was something about him that reminded me of my Daddy.  The amount of feeling I felt surprised even me.  For you see, my Daddy died 20 years ago this past February 8.  That is a long time ago.  He was 59.  I was 28.  He had a heart attack.  I was his favorite.  My sister would say that she was his favorite.  My mother would say that she was his favorite, which we all know was the truth, for they had and have a continuing love affair even though now they happen to be on different planes.


The reality is, however, true in all three cases.  We were all his favorites.  He gave me the greatest gift you can give another.  He gave me unconditional love.  It is because of that gift that I can love others.  It also made it easier for me to understand our Father God’s love for us.  It makes total sense to me that our Father would give His gift of His only begotten Son, so that we could be in communion with Him.  It makes sense that our Father would do whatever it took to bind back the circle of love He meant for Him and His people to live in.


My daddy was just a man.  He was human and had a few, very few flaws, as all humans do.  But one thing he did right was love.  Thanks, Daddy.  Thanks, unknown man who was walking down the alley and triggered this thought.  As I said, I miss my daddy.  I always will on this side of heaven.


If my little heart aches this much, after 20 years, over this one person’s absence, it is incomprehensible how much our Father God’s heart must have ached for His people.  It was in His power to make all things right.  He did.  He sent our Lord Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, to die for us so that we could once again be in His fellowship


“Jesus Christ is Risen Today.”  Ah, the two Easter services were extraordinarily beautiful.  Being in the choir, we have the privilege of attending services back to back.  Yes!  We got to sing Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” twice!  Yes!  We got to hear a wonderful sermon twice!  Yes!  We got to smell the lilies and feel the warmth of the congregation twice!  Yes!  We got to feel the awesome Presence of our Lord Jesus twice!  Yes!


What?  What am I to share with you today of all days -- Easter?  I enjoy the walk, the daily expectant looking to the Lord for something to share with you.  I believe it is in the everydayness of our lives that we are to seek Him.  He is Risen.  He is actively involved in each one of our lives.  He loves us, loves us like no other.  Paul said, “Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ Jesus,” and he said, “Love goes on forever.”  I believe to the very core of my being these statements.


Christ is risen and because of that, we are too.  We are His “Resurrected People.”  One of the things our minister said today in his sermon which stuck with me was that Easter is about living, us living, and that we are to climb out of our tombs.  Wow, that hit me right between the eyes.  Usually at Easter, I concentrate on Jesus’ empty tomb, not mine.  What is it that causes me not to live out right now my inheritance of a victorious life?  Precious Pilgrim, what is it that causes you not to live out your inheritance, your victorious life?  I am one of our Lord Jesus Christ’s beloved and so are you.  He would have climbed up on that cross even if it was just to save one of us.  Our Father God would have sent His Son just to save one of us. 


I am His favorite.  You are His favorite.  We are His favorites.  There is something about love.  It can expand into eternity, but it can’t contract or disintegrate.  We are loved by Love.  Our only appropriate response is also to love – now, right this minute at all times.  Love cannot be entombed.  Christ showed us this today.  If there are any situations, circumstances, people, places, or things that are making you feel trapped or imprisoned, ask Love to come in.  He will break all bonds, loosen all ties, and “make the captives free.” 


Precious, precious Pilgrim, there is one more experience today that I’d like to share.  And this will be the last one, I promise.  Besides, I need to fix my husband’s supper.  There is a sainted, sainted lady in our church.  She has been teaching the younger children’s Sunday School class for years.  She is loved by all.  Usually she doesn’t get to attend the service in the sanctuary, for she’s holding her own in her classroom.  Easter is an exception, for there is no Sunday School.  She was sitting on the front row with her sister.  Being in the choir, it’s easy to see the congregation.  It especially pleased me to see her, for she’s one of those people that just brings the joy of the Lord wherever she goes.


Halfway through the service, I could see that she was visibly crying.  Oh, that saddened me deeply.  I knew that her husband was extremely sick, for we had been praying for him for months.  Oh, I felt so sorry for her.  I wanted to go do something, anything.  I didn’t like seeing tears of sadness on Easter Sunday – tears of gladness, yes, but not these grieving ones.


Soon my whole family – husband, children, grandchildren, except for one precious son who was out of town -- came forward for Holy Communion.  Of course, this was a highlight for me, but another one was even more poignantly sweet.  On the way back to her seat, my five-year-old granddaughter, Beverley, swung around and walked by Mrs. Vaughn and gave her a big smile and a friendly wave.  This precious, godly teacher gave her a smile and a wave too.  This lady was fine.  This lady was victorious.  Yes, she was sad, but I could tell this was an Easter lady.  She wasn’t a tomb dweller, even in trying circumstances or situations.  No.  Because of Love, Jesus’ expansive Love – she was and is one of His “Resurrection People.”


My precious, precious Pilgrim, it is time to quit and go cook dinner.  I’ve enjoyed our time together today.  I missed my daddy this Easter Day and that’s OK.  We are connected by Love eternally.  All love is connected by Love, eternally.


Thank you, Lord Jesus for Your Life, Your Death, Your Resurrection and the sending of Your Holy Spirit. You are the glue that holds us all together.  You are Love.  I sing Your praises and do a dance in celebration, “Jesus Christ is Risen today.”  Alleluia, Alleluia and Amen.


We Easter people are on the move…

                        Go forth

                                    Precious Pilgrim,

                                                Go forth!