We have had a more than a week to worship the risen Savior! We were attuned to the sorrow of the Savior during Lent and more so during Holy Week. We celebrated the Resurrection with joy in our hearts. We had Easter egg hunts, feasts, family get-togethers…now it’s over.
We are back to the everyday grind. Our calendars keep us focused forward rather than inward. Our schedules keep us too busy to spend much time in contemplation. We rush from thing to thing. At least I do!
God would have us “Be still and know I am God.” We have talked about this before. It is battle to be still. But this morning as I was feeling a bit frantic due to an over-filled schedule this week, I realized that I cannot really know God while rushing through life. His place is a place of stillness.
What does “still” mean? “remaining in place; free from noise; hushed; calm…
I have so little of that in my life. But I am trying to practice it more and more through “centering payer” or “prayer of Examen”. It’s just really a way to be more mindful of God throughout the day…
First I quiet myself by breathing deeply several times and remember I am in God’s presence. 2.) I ask the Holy Spirit to guide my thoughts and imagination and begin to imagine Him being with me where I am. 3.) I think though my day – the good things, His grace and care. Be thankful. 4.) Anything troubling me, I ask Him to hold it, keep it. 5.) Then I ask myself some questions: Where did I experience God the most today?, Where did I experience Him the least?, What am I most thankful for? 6.) Thank God for being with me and bless Him.
It is in practicing this that I am able to be still – I am a work in progress with a long way to go. But as I go back to the well to draw from Him, I am refreshed for the day ahead.
“Rise. O Church, and lift your voices, Christ has conquered death and hell.
Sing as all the earth rejoices;
Resurrection anthems swell.
Come and worship, Come and worship,
Worship Christ the Risen King!”
Hallelujah! He is risen!
He is risen for those grieving the loss of their children who were on the S. Korean ferry boat. He is risen for those who lost loved ones were on the flight 370 lost at sea. He is risen for Oscar Pist0ris so full of regret. He is risen for those in the Ukraine. He is risen for President Obama and President Putin. He is risen for those suffering in North Kora, the Sudan and countless other places. He is risen for the Democrats and for the Republicans. He is Risen.! Hallelujah.
Let us rejoice as those who have hope!
“A cross of all things – a guillotine, a gallows – but the cross at the same time as the crossroad of eternity and time. as the place where such a mighty heart was broken that the healing power of God himself could flow through it into a sick and broken world. It was for this reason that of all the possible words they could have used to describe the day of his death, the word they settled on was “good.” Good Friday.” Frederick Buechner
Indeed it is good!
How many of you have heard it said, “Easter is them most important date on the Church calendar”? I know I have. But it bothers me. How can we make a value judgment?
You can’t have Easter without Christmas. And Christmas would be meaningless without Easter. Oh, we could argue that Jesus was a good man who died a martyr’s death to show us an example of servanthood. An unselfish example – nah, doesn’t work for me. To die as He did has to mean more than that.
On Christmas we celebrate God stepping into human history as a human, just like you and me, to carry our sins to death on a cross. We were condemned in our sin. We could not redeem ourselves – Jesus did it for us. Satan threw all he had at Jesus. He came to take on all the forces of evil. He did and won – for all time.
What looked hopeless became our only Hope. That which looked like defeat actually was a powerful victory. That which looked so hideous and gruesome turned into a thing of beauty. Only God could do all that.
Easter is glorious! Christmas is wonder-filled. We don’t have to choose…but I sort of lean towards Christmas!
What do you think?