Sunday, April 12, 2009

An Easter Trilogy – Part 3

Psalm 24
1 The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it upon the seas
and established it upon the waters.
3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD ?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to an idol
or swear by what is false.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD
and vindication from God his Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, O you gates;
be lifted up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory?
The LORD strong and mighty,
the LORD mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The LORD Almighty—
he is the King of glory.

I know my redeemer lives. (Job 19:25)

I’m off to sunrise service. It’s one of two traditions that I dearly treasure in my yearly Christian walk. (The other is Christmas Eve Candlelight service.) For as long as I can remember, Easter morning has started before sunrise. (Partially because my father is always a reader at Sunrise Service, so we have to get there early.) We used to brave the weather and have the service outside on the front lawn of the church. Our favorite church trumpeter would play “Up from the Grave He Arose,” and we would gather in front of the cross for a brief sermon and hymn-sing. And then, we would warm up by going to McDonalds for a hotcakes and sausage breakfast. (And in case you’re wondering, I already asked my dad if we could go there after service today.)

I loved the years when the timing was just right and the sun would come up right when we all started singing. There was one year when we had nesting birds in the church steeple, and they decided to take flight when our Pastor concluded his sermon. And of course, I remember the years when we huddled together on the lawn wrapped in blankets because it was so cold. But I digress.

I’m a morning person, that’s no secret. There’s something very special to me about the time of the morning when night is fading away and the sun breaks over the horizon. So I love how in the resurrection story, the women discover the empty tomb when the sun was first coming up.

Arising. I wish I could put all I’m feeling about hope and life and love and freedom into a cohesive paragraph, but this morning it’s just all blurring together to one idea: Love so amazing, so divine. Demands my love, my life, my all.

Who is this King of glory? Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? For whom are the gates of heaven opening?

Jesus Christ. We celebrate his victory today.

I pray for a blessed Easter for all who read this. And I pray that the joy and celebration will not be a veneer on the realities of life. May the message of Jesus and the hope of the resurrection permeate your life and meet you in the midst of whatever you are dealing with. May the sun break over the horizon of your circumstances and fill your day with light.

Trilogy Bonus Feature: Every time I watch The Fellowship of the Ring and it comes to the part when Boromir talks about being called home by the clear ringing of the trumpets, I think of Easter Sunday morning. …“I have seen the white city, one day our paths will lead us there.”

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