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Doug Dezotell

Memories and Musings

Doug Dezotell is pastor of Cannon United Methodist Church and a former staff writer for the Times-Gazette.

The One who got out

Sunday, April 21, 2019

A preacher tells a story of one quiet and sunny Sunday afternoon when his son was five-years-old. They drove past a cemetery together. Noticing a large pile of dirt beside a newly dug grave, the little boy pointed and said: "Look, Dad, one got out!"

The preacher said, "Now, every time I pass a graveyard, I'm reminded of the One who got out."

That's what this season is all about. It's a celebration of the One Who Got Out! The Resurrected Christ!

All week long, leading up to Easter Sunday, Christians around the world reflect on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.

In many Christian worship communities the forty days leading up to Easter Sunday, referred to as the Lenten Season, is a time of prayer and fasting and denying oneself.

But for so many others, Easter is a different kind of celebration. It has become a Spring Festival.

Over the years many people have added all kinds of other elements to this Holy Season, things such as Easter Baskets filled with colored eggs, jelly beans and many other kinds of candy.

The Easter Bunny takes center stage in many families' celebrations. The bunny is the one who supposedly brings the multi-hued baskets of treats and even hides eggs all over yards and around houses.

But, I want to be reminded again and again of the true meaning of the Easter Season. Jesus died on the cross for my sins, and three days later He arose from the grave.

I learned that message of hope in my Sunday School lessons growing up in church in North Dakota. I still believe it today and have shared that message with so many others over the years.

The historical fact of Jesus's death and resurrection proves to mankind that, according to John's gospel, "God loved the world so much that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall have eternal life."

Easter reminds me that I serve a Risen Savior.

The Presbyterian pastor, Alfred H. Ackley, penned the words to the hope-filled hymn, "He Lives" back in 1933. That song of celebration reminds me of the hope that is available to all of us who believe in the resurrected Christ.

I serve a risen Savior; He's in the world today.

I know that He is living, whatever men may say.

I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,

And just the time I need Him He's always near.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!

He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.

He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!

You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

In all the world around me I see His loving care,

And though my heart grows weary I never will despair.

I know that He is leading, thro' all the stormy blast;

The day of His appearing will come at last.

He lives! He lives! Christ Jesus lives today!

He walks with me and talks with me along life's narrow way.

He lives! He lives! Salvation to impart!

You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

I pray that your Easter will be one filled with hope, health and happiness. And that you and your family, if you choose to add the elements of colored eggs and candy, will also find the time to reflect on the Risen Savior, and find eternal peace in His loving presence.

My Savior Lives!

--Doug Dezotell is the pastor of Cannon UMC. He is a columnist, a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a friend to many. He can be contacted at dougmdezotell@gmail.com.

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