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A Most Excellent Day

By Pastor Rui Oliveira 

April 8, 2023


t was Good Friday, and Lois Neely of Caledon, Ontario was struggling with the blues.
She had expected to spend Easter with her friends in Florida, but a serious illness had cancelled her plans. She felt bitterly disappointed, and as she sat gazing through a frosted window at the cold and barren landscape, her thoughts went to the swimming pool and tall palm trees she was missing. Several problems confronted her, and she was worried and weary.

Finally, she prayed. “Lord,” she said, “if you could gladden the hearts of those sad followers who had been walking to Emmaus, You are able to do it for me.”

She remembered that the Emmaus disciples in Luke 24 had invited a friend to dinner, so she decided to do the same. The friend came, and the two women had a lovely time together. Then, she again remembered the women who visited the tomb on Easter Sunday morning, she decided to call the chaplain of her retirement center, and the two began planning an Easter Sunrise service there.

To her amazement, forty seniors showed up, and equally amazed, the whole group seemed very energized to sing this very appropriate hymn (#166); Christ The Lord Is Risen Today.

Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of man and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

That evening, Lois wrote in her diary; “A most excellent day!”
Isn’t that, after all, what Easter is all about?

Adapted from Lois Neely, “Unexpected Delights at Easter.”