Robert’s Ramblings: This Easter, rejoice and remember

“While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

— Matthew 26: 26-28

Easter is quickly approaching — a celebration that says, “Spring is here!” and that Christ has conquered death. We welcome more sunshine, blooming flowers, and singing birds. 

Easter is a time to celebrate the risen Christ and rebirth. For me, it begins with the gift of a newborn baby that we celebrate at Christmas, but before I can get to Easter I must get through “Good” Friday.

My older brother Gary died in the fall, 30 years ago. He and I had become very close when I entered high school. We were very involved in 4-H and often went to junior leadership meetings and training on Saturdays. Gary would drive and we would sing along with the radio, and often harmonize. 

A few years later, when Alma and I began having children, Gary (a bachelor) became our sons’ favorite uncle as he would shower them with his love and gifts. Then the cancers began to eat at Gary’s body; his death hit me very hard. I was a member of our church choir and as we began to prepare Christmas anthems, I suffered. I would think of this baby we were singing about, think about my brother, and then the horrible death this baby would die, for each one of us. I would leave choir practice and hide in the men’s room as I wept. 

Ever since that year, I have had to get through the pain of death before I can celebrate Easter.

It is a strange thing that we often need to go through pain to become closer to God. We need to go through the depths, we need to go “through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23) before we can enjoy the mountain top. In our church experience, we share the Lord’s Supper once a month; for me it is a strong reminder of “Good” Friday – it is a reminder of the horrible, expensive, price that was paid for me. Only then can I accept the bread and wine.

—Bob Beck
Former lay leader, Ebbert Methodist Church



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