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The following is a true Easter story by Roger Hawthorne

One of the first Easters of my ministerial career began with a blizzard. I was still a student pastor, and we had arranged to have an ordained pastor come to serve communion. There was a question if he would be able to make it through the storm. To add to the misery, shortly after breakfast, we received word of the death of a woman, one of the 12 brothers and sisters who were members of the congregation. Between the storm, the probable absence of the minister, and the death, I began to anticipate my wife and me having a worship service by ourselves. I stumbled from the parsonage to the church to be sure it would be warm in case anyone should come, then fought my way back for another cup of coffee. This was a blizzard--I could not see the road from the parsonage.

At church-time, I entered the back room, and there were all the teenagers who composed the choir. Eventually the ordained minister stumbled in and I marveled at his dedication to have fought that storm for more than fifty miles...The organist slipped out to begin her prelude while the choir, the minister and I consoled ourselves that perhaps at least a few people had come to the service. Then the organ volume lifted and we began to march in. there in the front row sat the husband and children of the deceased woman; they had driven 30 miles. Around them were aunts, uncles and cousins and they were so packed in the nave that some of them had to stand. Never before had there been so many people in a worship service there.

The organist moved into the first hymn,"Jesus Christ is risen today, alleluia" In the front row, singing as loudly as any, with tears streaming down their faces,were the husband and children of the deceased woman.

The custom was they were used to coming forward to receive communion at the rail. We bent the rules so that I could help serve. The last man I reached with the wine was the new widower, whose children ranged from elementary to high school in age. My eyes must have been asking a question, for as he replaced the communion glass, he quietly took hold of my arm and whispered, "She has gone home, and we thought we should come home today too, especially today."

Outside the storm raged on, but no one minded for inside the resurrection was being celebrated. And for a certain divinity it was the first time he ever really understood the resurrection.

"If a man die shall he live again?" Yes, for eternity."

Yes, Easter is God’s answer to the world’s no.

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