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To Our Boys in Service

Grand Rapids, Michigan

April 1946

Dear Fellows:

When Christmas arrives we celebrate and wish one another a merry Christmas. And, of course, for the Christian, who on that day is reminded that God sent His Son into the world, there is reason to rejoice in the remembrance of that glad event. Without the incarnation of the Son of God there is no salvation. The truth that the Word became flesh is the beginning of the gospel, without which there would be no gospel at all.

Yet, there surely is equally much reason to speak of a “merry resurrection day.” I like that name “resurrection day” better than Easter. It is true that, in our Authorized Version of the Bible the name Easter occurs once, but it is a bad translation. The original there has the word for Passover. The name Easter has a heathenish sound, and makes one think of easter-eggs and easter-bonnets and the like, and of a superficial view that confuses the resurrection of Christ with the beginning of new life in nature. On that day we remember that our Lord Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, and that resurrection of our Lord is the principle of the realization of all our salvation. If Christ were not raised, our faith would be vain, and there would be no way out of sin and death. Without the resurrection day Good Friday would have no meaning. But now Christ is raised from the dead, and is become the firstfruits of them that slept!

And that is a cause of great joy, indeed, for all that believe in His name.

For it means that our sins are, indeed, blotted out in the blood of Christ, and that God prepared for us an eternal righteousness in Him.

It means that we have a living Lord, in Whom we live, and Who is able to deliver us from all the power of the devil, sin, and death.

And it means that death has been swallowed up, and that we may look forward in hope, through death, to the final resurrection in glory. There is a way out, and the way out is the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead!

What abundant reason, then, we have in that day on which we celebrate that resurrection of Christ, to wish one another a “merry resurrection-day”.

Here’s hoping that the joy of that day may be yours, fellows, wherever you are.

It is a joy that is victorious over all things, and that no one and nothing can take away from you.

Well, if you have time to write, let me hear from you occasionally. I like to hear how you are getting along. And if there is anything you like to have me write about in these monthly letter, let me know, and I will try to comply with your wishes.

God bless you.

As ever your friend,

Rev. H. Hoeksema