26 March, 2016

Hallelujah Chorus

Another Easter Sunday is here!  Hallelujah, He is risen!  We have hope and a future!  As I sit here this morning, I'm having to force myself to stay in this moment and repeat the words, Hallelujah He is risen.  For in my life this Easter weekend there is much beautiful distraction...my family is in town, there are pictures to be made, food to be cooked, stories to be told, laughter to consume me, dresses and shirts to iron and dishes to wash.  These beautiful distractions of life give me great pleasure and joy but as this Easter Day wears on I can sense that the chorus of Hallelujah may become more faint.  Let it not be so, Lord.

The story of Easter morning from Luke 24 is one I never tire of reading.  There is so much drama and joy and unexpectedness.  The women walking to the tomb to anoint His body with spices and perfumes, the stone rolled away, the shock, the two men in clothes that gleamed like lightening, the women returning to the disciples to share the shock of their discovery, Peter racing back to see for himself.  And on the same day, two friends walking to Emmaus have an encounter, "were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"Luke 24:32
33 They got up and returned at once to Jerusalem. There they found the Eleven and those with them, assembled together and saying, “It is true! The Lord has risen and has appeared to Simon.” Then the two told what had happened on the way, and how Jesus was recognized by them when he broke the bread.
While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds?  Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. Luke 24:33-45
We can well imagine how exciting and disturbing all these happenings had to have been for these men and women. For the last three years, their lives had been dedicated to this Teacher.  And inasmuch as they traveled with Him, listened to Him and saw His miracles, the reality seemed to become too, too much to believe on that morning of all mornings.  Doubts, discussions, fear, joy and amazement were all words used to describe their emotions.  I wonder if the disciples were simply in information overload or in shock!  It had to be mind-blowing for them.  As they were discussing the events surely their thoughts ran to what do we do next?  What do we do now?  What will happen next?  And beautifully enough, the Savior then appears before them to instruct and guide them to open their minds so that they could understand the next step, the next hour, the next day.

These words from the scripture also describe my emotions.  I've experienced Easter morning.  It is a time of joy and amazement.  Hallelujah, Christ is born!  But now, right now the big event is over.  The Easter service is over, the Easter Bunny has appeared and lunch is finished.  I see tail-lights looking back at me...now its just me.....and I realize that all I really want is to go back and listen for the Hallelujah chorus.  I want to experience Easter like the disciples.  It was so healing for them to discuss all that they had seen and witnessed.  It was spiritually healthy for them to question and wonder and ponder the events of the day.  They were vulnerable enough with each other to talk about the hard issues of the day.  Can't we do the same?  Have we looked at Easter, I mean, really looked at it?  And asked what is next in my life?  What is my next step?  What do I do with this Easter news? Do I treat today as just another beautiful Sunday or do I let it change me?  Does this Easter Day become Easter living?  Is today the day I let go of my pain, my heartache and accept, finally accept His work on my behalf?   And because of that work....finally accept His unconditional love, joy and peace?  For it is the very work of His cross that gives me hope.  Doesn't my heart burn within me when I completely let Him have all of me?

For today and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow....don't let the Hallelujah fade from my mind and heart, Lord.  Let me live and shout it over and over again to those who have yet to learn the words.

P.S. Personal note: Happy Birthday Mama!  

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