CHRIST THE LORD IS RISEN TODAY
More than a decade ago, violent tornadoes ripped through parts of the American South.The National Public Radio program All Things Considered aired a report about a church that was virtually destroyed by the storm.
Terrified children had been at choir rehearsal as the funnel approached. The pastor huddled them into the hallway. As various parts of the building came apart around them, they sang, “Jesus Loves the Little Children.”
Miraculously, all of them survived.
One little girl told this story on NPR: “While we were singing, I saw angels holding up the hallway. But the winds were so strong that the angels shouted out, ‘We need help!” and some more angels came and helped them.”
Don’t you wish you could have that little girl’s experience?
Don’t you wish you could go through life fully convinced that even if things are coming apart around you, there are angels who are keeping it all together – and when they need help, they simply call for reinforcements?
But many of us, especially in recent days, have been assailed by doubts. We wonder about our health. And our job security. And the economy. And whether “normality” will ever return. Such doubts and fears have the power to dominate our lives.
Unless we believe in a God who raises the dead.
Charles Wesley, who wrote more than 6,500 hymns over the course of his rich ministry, was convinced that Jesus’ resurrection has a meaning connected with yesterday: It really happened in a cemetery just outside the walls of Jerusalem about A.D. 30. And it also has relevance for tomorrow: Because Jesus was resurrected, his followers believe they, too, will experience life beyond the grave.
Yesterday and tomorrow, unfortunately, are all too often the only tenses that get the spotlight on Easter Sunday.
But the resurrection is also about today. If Jesus really is alive and at work in the world, then anything might happen. And it can happen during the next 24 hours.
That’s one reason Wesley’s 1739 hymn for Easter is called Christ the Lord is Risen Today:
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth, reply, Alleluia!
We’ll have to wait for next year to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with others to share this majestic song. But for now we can enjoy this exuberant rendition (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9khJXoL9QGk) by the Hymns Triumphant Performers.
Christ is risen.
He is risen indeed.
Don’t be afraid if the roof seems to be coming apart over your head.
He’s got this.
— Glenn McDonald in his Morning Reflection devotional
Glenn McDonald is the Director of Mission Integration for the Ascension Ministry Service Center in Indianapolis, Indiana, a role in which he serves as the workplace mission leader for 1,000 associates in the healthcare industry.
Glenn is an ordained Presbyterian minister, has 33 years of congregational leadership experience, and is the author of nine books on discipleship and spiritual formation. He and his wife are the parents of four grown children and enjoy living on a small farm.
A note from doug: Glenn is a family friend and an all-around great guy
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