Here’s the Troparion (equivalent to the Collect) of the Day for Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday in the Orthodox Church:
O, Christ, our God, when Thou didst raise Lazarus from the dead, before Thy passion, Thou didst confirm the resurrection of the universe. Wherefore, we, the children, carry the banner of triumph and victory, and we cry to Thee.
The phrase that jumped out at me, singing it this morning at the Lazarus Saturday service was, “the resurrection of the universe.”
Spring is a pyrrhic victory, because in a few months the leaves will flutter, the grass will wither, and the snow will flurry amidst the geese and cranes fleeing south yet again, and all we’ll have to show for it is another year of wear and tear. Yes, even the tree beside the house, which will grow a few more inches this year, will one day blow over as a result of the conspiracy of wind and rot.
It’s not only we humans, caught in this deluded grind of death masquerading as life, that cry out for release in the hope of resurrection and life eternal, it is the universe itself that is grinding slowly to a cold and empty halt.
Unless something – or someone – steps in a causes the cosmos to be changed.
In Paul’s words: Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? If the troparion is right, even the universe groans this question.
But today, when Lazarus was called forth from the grave and the Lord Jesus Christ confirmed the resurrection, not only of us, but of the universe, we, as well as the universe itself, can cry out with joy and victory: Hosanna (which means, “save us now!”)