Happy Easter! As they greet each other in Romania around Easter: “Isus A Inviat!” (Jesus resurrected), and the person addressed responds “Adevarat, a Inviat!” (True, He resurrected!). May we remember Christ’s ultimate gift: “beauty for ashes.”

I think maybe I share this video every year, but in my opinion, there’s never too much of watching it.

Makes me cry every time.

All these other videos make me cry too. So much goodness and light. I love a good opportunity to ponder that unfathomable gift: the Atonement.

That because He lives, we can make beauty from ashes.

We can all live again.

We can all START again.

There are second chances.

There is new life.

My Sister’s talk about “Beauty for Ashes”

I LOVE a talk my sister Saydi gave years ago about that helps me remember the beauty of Christ’s ultimate gift: “Beauty for Ashes.” I’ve been thinking about her words and wanted to share some excerpts:

He tells us that He will give us beauty for the ashes. The promise is that He will take the most burnt up, dark, horrid things in our lives and souls and somehow grow not only something worthwhile, but something beautiful from them. He will turn what appears to be the very substance of our ruin into something beautiful.  

This might be easier to believe if He said He’d give us beauty for something like clay or bricks or stones.  We could imagine how He could make something beautiful of those unformed, and potentially useful things.  But ashes?  How can beauty rise from ashes? 

There are moments, sometimes weeks and months and even whole seasons where we feel stuck, sitting in piles of ash, mourning, weighed down by the spirit of heaviness.  In these dark, lifeless, burnt up moments it’s hard to imagine how the mess will ever be cleared away, let alone flower into something worthwhile and redemptive.

Christ can change ashes to beauty

Ashes, distress, loss, brokenness: this is the Redeemer’s pallet.  These are the materials Christ uses to create beauty.  Just as the dark contrast and shadow make art into a masterpiece, it is the cracks in our lives and the holes in our hearts that make us deep and real and alive, that allow Christ to transform us. 

So when our lives feel burnt up, when it looks as if there is nothing redeemable in our situations or our souls, let us take our pile of ashes to Christ.  This may mean we have to work through our anger or doubt, or muster up faith we don’t think we have. We may have to wait longer than we thought for a transformation, and it might not look like the one we had envisioned.  But drawing near to the Lord, handing Him our ashes and waiting and hoping for the transformation is better than sitting still and stuck in the wreckage. 

For Christ, nothing is beyond redemption, He reaches our reaching[3] and sanctifies to us our deepest destress[4].  If we draw near unto Him and hand over our grief and fear and loss, He will draw near to us. His reclamation will regenerate, refurbish, restore us. He will salvage all the good we have and raise us up. He WILL give us beauty for our ashes.  

Happy Easter everyone.

May we all rejoice in my favorite phrase in conjunction with Easter:

“He is not here, He is risen.”

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  1. Happy Easter!

    One of my favorite things that I’ve ever read on this blog was the quote you shared “Sunday will come” — I was thinking of that all day on Good Friday, yesterday, and of course today. So happy to get to celebrate the Sunday of all Sundays today!

    1. I love that quote so much, thank you for the reminder of how good it is! I hope you had a wonderful Easter!

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