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Three Times Hosanna

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11 NASB)

A year ago, on Palm Sunday, our two grandsons were staying with us and joined us at church. They loved walking around waving palm branches. I lapped up Pastor Mark’s sermon on “hosanna,” a Hebrew word that can mean, “He saves, He saved, Save us!, He will save us.” (The sermon is on our website titled “Follow Me Into Death”.) Just two days later, the littlest grandson went to the ER for the day. That one word prayer/truth “hosanna!” was my constant, as I wrote before.

Thinking about God rescuing my grandson last year reminded me of another day of rescue 37 years ago, when I didn’t know what “hosanna” meant. But, now I know, it was a “three times hosanna” day.

It happened on Easter Sunday.

Kent and I were living in Federal Way and expecting our second child in a couple of months. Our son, Mark, was a little over a year old, and a big fan of Duplo, the large version of Lego bricks. In contrast to California Easters, when we’d be up and out the door for Easter Sunrise service, we were having a leisurely morning. We had attended Good Friday service and meditated upon the cross during the week. We were ready to greet everyone with “Christ is Risen!” and sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” at the top of our lungs.

There was one cloud. I had been wrestling with a health matter and struggling to face the pain. But at a critical moment that morning, the expected pain simply didn’t happen. I felt a rush of relief and gratitude for this small wonder. God saved me! On Easter! That was Hosanna #1.

Hosanna #2 occurred shortly after, during breakfast. My son was sitting in a high chair eating slices of banana. Suddenly, we noticed him stop eating and his eyes got big. No sound came from him and he seemed to be stuck. I ran over to him, thinking, What do I know about the Heimlich maneuver?, and then, he swallowed the banana. And then he cried. And then we all cried.

Hosanna #3 came shortly after. We were living in a split-level house, which for all its disadvantages, at least has only six stairs to navigate at a time. After breakfast, Kent hoisted Mark onto his left arm, grabbed his coffee cup with his right hand and headed down the stairs. On the third step, Kent lost his footing, and the two of them plummeted down onto the landing by the front door. Kent landed kind of curled into the corner, bruised but not broken. Mark landed on top of Kent, still in his arm, unhurt. The coffee splattered all over the wall. A single piece of Duplo was sitting on the third stair. I saw it all. Disaster unfolding, but no, they were ok. Again, tears, and feeling wrung out. It’s Easter. All this is happening on Easter. I want to go to church and just bask in Jesus. I want to sing! My heart was bursting with a wordless “hosanna.”

And we did go to church. We greeted our brothers and sisters with the most jubilant “Christ is risen!” We sang “Christ the Lord is Risen Today!” with incredible immediacy. A tiny, tiny sliver of Jesus’ resurrection power had touched us that morning.

Dear brothers and sisters, may God touch you with resurrection power this Easter. Hosanna! Christ is Risen!

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