EASTERN ORTHODOX EASTER
This year Eastern Orthodox Easter is celebrated this Sunday, April 16. Unfortunately, for Lewis, Easter was a trying time, due to all the letters he received, probably mostly from people he did not know, but which he felt obliged to respond to, as he wrote in a letter of April 17, 1954, to Mary Shelburne: “everyone writes to me at Easter, so that what ought to be a bright spot in the year threatens to become for me a very dark one.”
However, the mood is very different in the many places that he writes about the Resurrection, and in particular, when he depicts the resurrection of Asan in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
And one of Lewis’s close friends was a Russian Orthodox professor at Oxford, Nicholas Zernov. So in that connection, I wanted to post an Easter meditation from a book titled “Day by Day”, written at the beginning of the 20th century by an anonymous author, which was read by the last Russian empress, in exile, before she and her family were executed by the Communists:
Scripture: “An angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.” (Matt: 28, 2)
"Why didn’t the angel fly away after Christ’s Resurrection, but remained on the stone at the entrance to the tomb? It would seem that he should have returned to heaven when the great feat of the Resurrection was accomplished. No, he remained on the stone in order to, through his presence, cast light on the stone, transform it, and to inform those mourning for Christ of the victory over death, and turn their weeping into praise for the Lord.
"In this way the victory of Christ’s Resurrection casts light on our entire past, on all our graves. It tells us that there is no place there for what we call death; it dries our tears and gives our sorrow a new meaning. Lord, let us also on every sorrowful stone, weighing on our heart, see a bright comforting angel, announcing the good news, to see an open door for trust and hope, for God’s love and the triumph of the Resurrection.
“The abundance of our suffering “will create an incalculable abundance of eternal glory” (2 Cor: 4, 17)”
And, in Russian, “Христос воскресе!” (Khristos voskrese – Christ is risen!)
“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)