Although my usual pattern of posting blogs does not include the weekend, the unusual nature of the resurrection of Jesus Christ joyfully compels me to celebrate with you today. I am grateful, humbled by your choice to spend time at this site, blessed by the knowledge that we are on a journey together to stay alert to sightings of his ongoing grace in the sometimes difficult things we face. May you be intimately familiar with the power of his resurrection in each of your lives to breathe new life into places which have gone stale with stalled movements of mission or pale with pall-like inertia of neglect to reflect his living presence with the wonder of his appearance to the women at early dawn, the glorious rising of the Son.
Every hope of spiritual transformation, every heavenly slope which leads us higher in his shaping of our souls to fuller life in Christ exist because his life and love have overcome the deepest night of hell and tells us there is life beyond the grave. Every scope of life-giving thought and activity arises through his Spirit with us now until he comes again. The taupey beige of dry earth-formed humanity deadened by a separation from our union with God may be filled again with the luscious green of spiritual life renewed like plants reborn to receive his light and grow in him because he rose again.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Daylilies have risen from the cold earth once sealed in winter’s garden interlude; from a place of decay to bright green and vibrant life with no more delay; from darkness to light.
Death could not hold him!
When the women arrived at the tomb with burial spices for Jesus’ body, two men in dazzling apparel asked them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.” (Luke 24: 1-7)
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15: 50-57)
Christ is risen! Hallelujah!
Moving lyrics of transformation from darkness into light embedded in Handel’s ‘Messiah’ hang as notes on trellises of universal praise grown from living words of the revelation to John which celebrates the return of the risen Christ in glory at the end of the age.
‘The kingdom of this world … is become … the kingdom of our LORD and of his Christ, and of his Christ. And he shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah!
This majestic music seeks to create an auditory experience of the resounding splendour of Christ’s reign at the outset of a renewed creation begun at the awe-filled moment when the curse of death is soundly defeated at the emptying of grave clothes in a stone-sealed garden tomb. Radiating light, waves and particles powerfully destroying the outcome of our sin with laser precision in the face of derision from those who would bury him for good, shone from the glorified Christ as he stepped into the newly inaugurated kingdom of God firmly planted in the soil of a garden moist with morning dew to live forevermore.
Christ is risen!
There is nothing beyond the reach of his redeeming touch.
‘Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!” (Ps. 103:1)
‘Lord, I bless your name. Day by day may our mouths, our writing, our thoughts, our delighting in the good gifts of life all around us, bloom afresh each morning because you, the Creator breathe new life in us by the same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead.
For the one who serves you in a garden grown with weeds on rocky ground choking out your life, or the one who plants seeds of gospel hope yet has not seen green shoots or sprouts which show the life of which we speak on Easter day, shine your resurrection power into that which has been given up for dead. If there is one buried in discouragement or disillusionment, roll away the stone of doubt that you are still a living God able to set us free from whatever binds our weary hearts. Reveal to each one unawakened blossoms of new beginnings reserved for yet another time which will open, lily fresh, on just the right day.
And, until we see you in your glory when your kingdom comes, help us tend the garden of new life you’ve given us with care and certain hope your love will conquer all. May we find time to step into the inner garden where you speak living, life changing words to us; where you till the dying earth of our broken lives in the glory of this Easter story, transfigured by your love to bow again in wonder that because you live, we too will live, sealed by your Spirit for all eternity. Amen.
‘promoted to glory’