Locust Street Letters
By Frank Lawrence Vernon
Philadelphia: St. Mark's Church, Locust Street.
ST. MARK'S, PHILADELPHIA.
THE FIRST ADVENT AFTER EASTER, 1929.
MY DEAR PEOPLE:
“He that hath the Son hath life.” This is the sustained note of the days that come after Easter. The disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. They were at peace when they knew that they were to have Him always.
How simply they began their new life. The old life just fell away. Old sins, old sorrows, old misunderstandings, old mistakes just fell away. The former things were left behind. Everything was new. They soon began to take it all as a matter of course. They began to walk in newness of life. They felt quite secure because He was with them. So they had the kind of faith that overcomes the world. They had the witness in themselves. They had the record that God had given them eternal life, and they knew that this life is in His Son. They knew that He was the Son of God. They knew that they had Him.
This was what made them the wonder of the world. The world could not make them out because it could not make them over. Nothing overawed them, nothing daunted them. They were ready for anything. And. in everything that they encountered, they were more than conquerors. They possessed a joy that no man could take from them. They had the peace which passes understanding.
These days after Easter are days for the cultivation of joy and peace. Joy and peace are fruits of the spirit. They are to be cultivated in honor of the Resurrection of Our Lord. So long as our first fruit is love for Him, there need be no difficulty about joy and peace in Him. It is all really very simple when we remember that He is risen and that He is with us. We have Him. He will never leave us.
The secret of Easter joy is Easter life. The old life and the old sins and the old sorrows and the old fears all belong to the old world, in which we sometime walked. Through Lent penitence we arrived at the Cross. At Easter we go on and into the world that lies on the other side of the Cross. The former things are passed away for ever. All things are become new. We ourselves become new. We come into a new world of new adventures. We receive new power. Our minds and hearts and wills become filled with the things that belong to the new world. We have no thought of looking back. Why should we? All the best of life lies ahead of us. And we are keen on pressing on and into it.
This is what the Easter life means for us. It means walking in newness of life. Not standing still, but going on. It means having Our Lord all the time and all the way. We believe in the forgiveness of sins, and the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. That makes all the difference in this world. And in the next.
Affectionately in Our Lord,