I have never been as conscious of the incredible hope of the Easter message as I have been this last Easter. It seems that death and resurrection are intertwined everywhere I look and I realize how desperately I need to celebrate not just Easter Sunday but this whole Easter season. I have very definitely needed the confidence of my belief in the resurrection and my anticipation that one day God will in fact make all things new and we will sit down together at the banquet table of God.
During the week before Easter two of our Board members lost their mothers, then on the Thursday night of Easter week we were awoken in the early hours of the morning by a horrific explosion  that rocked our Annacortes hotel. It occurred at the local oil refinery where five people were killed and several others seriously injured.
This last week the toll of death continued as we heard about the mine disasters in West Virginia and China , mud slides in Brazil,  and the death of the president of Poland , his wife, and 94 others in a plane crash. And in the background there is always the death knell for the 20,000 children  that die every day from poverty-related diseases.
It is very easy for us to shut ourselves off from these tragedies. Or else the questions they raise for us shut us off from the God who created us and loves us. Yet this season in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ should bring us incredible and enduring hope -- the kind of hope I experience every time I plant a seed in the ground. Over the next few days I watch in anticipation for it to burst into new life.
Our hoped-for resurrection of those we love, and of those for whom we grieve even though we do not know them, does not come as quickly as the resurrection of a spring-planted seed, but we still live in anticipation. Listen to these words from 1 Corintihians 15 and enter once more into the hope of Easter Sunday.
Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die but they will be raised to live forever. Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies