We’ve all received shocking news. Yesterday seeing images of Notre Dame in Paris with flames shooting out of the roof was shocking. This morning I received a phone call notifying me that someone very dear to me had passed away. I can imagine how shocking the news might have been when Mary came to the tomb of Jesus Christ and it was empty.
Easter has been on my mind all week and with what happened yesterday in Paris with the Notre Dame cathedral burning to the ground, which was almost like losing an old friend, and the news this morning of the passing of someone so dear to me, Easter seems even more important to me than ever.
I’m glad that we were able to see Notre Dame in April, 2017. When I said au revoir to Notre Dame, I did not know it might be forever. Sunday I visited this loved one who now has passed beyond the veil, and when I left, I knew that we would never again see each other in mortality.
Easter week is a sacred week for Christians. Easter Sunday is especially important, because this is when we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
I love Paris, especially in the spring. It is a beautiful place. The French people love flowers. You will see fresh flowers for sale along the streets of Paris. Many of these streets are lined with flowering trees. If you go to dinner at someone’s home, it is common to bring a bouquet of flowers to thank them for having you over. You will see them everywhere in the city, which has done well to mix in many parks among the cobblestone roads and the two million people living in Paris. Like Paris, Port Angeles and the surrounding areas are also known for the beautiful parks and beautiful flowers. I moved to Port Angeles last June and this is my first spring here. As in Paris, I love seeing the buds on the trees and the flowers coming out everywhere. It is a resurrection of nature. Life seems to come again to many things at this time of year, as a type that nature gives us as a lesson symbolizing a new life that is to come to all of us thanks to Jesus Christ.
As I watched Notre Dame burn yesterday, and listened to the faithful Parisians sing hymns, I thought of how it has sparked faith in a country where many of the cathedrals are empty. I lived in France for two years while I served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I would meet many who would say they believed, but they just were not practicing their faith. That was in 1991. Think of how the world has changed since then. In many areas, faith has weakened and church attendance in many congregations has decreased.
No matter who we are, no matter what we’ve done, no matter where we are spiritually, I believe that Easter is a time when we can have a resurrection of our faith. Faith in God. Faith in mankind. Faith in the goodness of people around us. Faith in our children. Faith in a better life to come after our mortal journey on earth. This is the hope of Easter. This is what we believe in. This time on earth is a preparatory time to meet God. It is a time to try and become better, to overcome selfish desires, to love our neighbor, and to love our God. We are brothers and sisters of a Heavenly Father who loves us so much, that He sent His only begotten Son to earth, to pay the price of our sins and to overcome death. We need to have faith. We need to follow him.
Notre Dame will rise from the ashes. It will be beautiful again. We will rise from the grave as did our Savior Jesus Christ. The words always are so powerful to me from Luke 24:5, “Why seek ye the living among the dead. He is not here, but is risen”
Notre Dame, Paris France – April, 2017
Come celebrate with us Easter Sunday, at 9 a.m. or 12 p.m. 591 Monroe Rd, Port Angeles, WA. If you live outside of Port Angeles, you can find a church by visiting ComeUntoChrist.org
You might also like reading this article. Hope from ashes: Why the Notre Dame fire is a symbol of rebirth during Holy Week.
“The fire at Notre Dame, said Bishop Caussé, “is a tragic loss beyond words that all French people and millions of others around the world will feel deep in their heart. Reconstruction will be long and complex, but I have no doubt Notre Dame will one day rise from the ashes.”