“the gift of grace”: happy easter sunday

by Esther J. Santiago

Happy Easter Sunday to those who celebrate! I love the tranquility of an early Easter morning when the sun hasn’t risen entirely, and the sky is a soft blue-grey. Cherry blossoms and tulips are in view. The warmer breeze. Birds singing. Then, I hide Easter eggs all over the house. And of course, I set up my Sunday best, my best church outfit of the entire year. 

As a kid, the Easter egg hunt in my house was astronomical chaos (even though it was just me and my brother). We’d fight over whoever found more eggs. Someone always ended up crying. I won’t say I was the sore loser. This memory is hilarious to me right now, as I’m the one hiding the Easter eggs now. Another memory I hold dearly is when I was around five or six years old. I was just learning how to read, and the church I visited at the time had booklets of hymns on the pews. I picked up the booklet, and we sang a hymn titled “En el Monte Calvario (At Mount Calvary)” that soon became my favorite. This hymn still brings me to tears today, and I sing it every year. I don’t sing it as a ritual, but because the song is a true celebration of Easter for me.

Oh, yo siempre amaré esa cruz

En sus triunfos mi gloria será

Y algún día en vez de una cruz

Mi corona, Jesús, me dará”

“Oh, I will always love that cross,

My glory will be in its triumphs

And one day instead of a cruz

Jesus, will give me a crown” (my translation).

To many, Easter Sunday is a day of reflection and meditation, commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a family-centered holiday, where families reunite for big cookouts, easter-egg hunts, feasting on Peeps Marshmallows, and so on. Or simply, it is a day to rest, a fun holiday after a long tedious winter. Thank God for spring break…

In whichever way you may celebrate, we invite you to indulge in this poem by our featured writer Dagmarie A. Rosario.

“The Gift of Grace

Today as I remembered what you did on the cross for me, I’m speechless.

Silently I drove on the highway,

contemplating the many times you’ve answered my prayers 

when I thought I had nothing more to say;

 thinking I was hopeless.

Jesus, you gave your life for me; a daily sinner who deserves nothing, 

and took me out of the darkness,

the place I called home for many years, 

but your love brought the lightness.

Many times my mind has wandered off,

forgetting what you have done for me, 

but there you are

bringing back the memories when I felt helpless 

and your love made me feel happiness. 

Today my life flashed before my eyes, 

the road in front of me, driving as fast as I can

but suddenly cars begin to stop. 

I was going so fast

I managed to move aside. 

Lord! I yelled. That car is spinning

my brother yelled “Marie, watch out!

all I thought was about the blast. 

But You! 

You saved this sinner.

Your love and grace made me a winner.

What did I do to deserve this? I asked myself.

But You! 

You reminded me of the cross where you died for my sins,

and made me your daughter. 

Today my life flashed before my eyes,

but yet again you saved me! 

You reminded me that your love was greater than my sins,

 and your resurrection gave me the gift of grace.

What are your favorite Easter and/or early spring traditions? We’d love to hear about your Easter Sunday experiences, the big family cookouts, chaotic Easter egg hunts, your Sunday best outfits, or anything you love about the Spring season. Perhaps you’d like to share these experiences or admirations as 1-2 poems. We’d be thrilled to hear them and share your stories on our social media!

(Instagram: @aurora_journal, Twitter: @aurora_journal)

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