Today’s Readings: Psalm 148, 149, 150; Exodus 12.1-14; Isaiah 51.9-11; John 20.19-23
Today’s Writer: The Rev. Laird Bryson
As I sit down to write this, it is Good Friday, and my heart aches with the pain of the betrayal of Maundy Thursday and the horror of the cruciﬁxion we commemorate today. Every cell, every ﬁber, in my being yearns for Easter Morning.
But, the Gospel reading assigned to me is of the evening of that Easter day. It’s about Jesus’ appearance to His frightened and confused disciples as they are shut away “for fear of the Jews.”(John 20:19) And it’s a great reading! But, it just won’t do for now. Sorry, but you’re going to get EASTER MORNING!!
One of Bitsy’s and my favorite praise hymns is “Was It a Morning Like This” sung by Sandi Patti (words and music by Jim Croegaert). The verses speak of Mary Magdalene going to the tomb, the angels awaiting with the news of Christ risen, of Peter’s and John’s run to the tomb and of our Lord looking out on Jerusalem again. The lead-in to the chorus and the chorus ask us:
Did the grass sing?
Did the earth rejoice to feel You again?
Over and over like a trumpet underground
Did the earth seem to pound “He is risen!”
Over and over in a never-ending round
“He is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!”
Is it too fanciful to speak of the creation itself joining in the celebration of His glorious resurrection? The psalmist wouldn’t think so. In Psalm 148 he calls upon sun, moon, stars, sea creatures, creeping and ﬂying creatures, cattle – you name it, he calls them all to join the people of Israel who are to sing and dance to praise the Lord! (Ps. 149)
It is Easter, beloved! We have been healed, redeemed, set free from the bondage of sin and death! Alleluia! Alleluia! Christ is risen! Christos anesti! Let us and all creation sing and laugh and cry and shout for joy, and let our little ones dance with joy before the Lord! The Lord is risen indeed! Alithos anesti!
The mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands! (Isa 55:12)