The echo of believers came to me in song. A harmonious chorus lifting in joyful noise. And we stood arm in arm swaying sure and strong against the atrocious evils of this world. For the world, right now, has slipped into a darker place. Reverted, once again, to an uncivilized era of Godlessness, where the prince of this world runs rampant with hideous crimes and cunning deceit.
It started on Friday with a Facebook post from my friend Matthew W. in Canada,
“It’s Friday….but Sunday’s coming.”
He was, of course, referring to the fact that this is the day that we have put aside to remember that fateful Friday when Jesus was nailed to the cross, but rose from the grave three days later on what we celebrate as glorious Easter Sunday.
This was the first reminder and it was more than a little encouraging. For hadn’t I just read another post that very day lamenting the massacre of 150 university students in Kenya? Hadn’t that week also brought disheartening news about the impending loss of Israel’s greatest ally while she howled in disbelief? Hadn’t this year to date seen mass executions, desecrations, plunder, rape, hangings, corruptions and peril? Did one not have reason to mourn? Did one not have reason to shutter in disbelief?
Did one not make assessment as to how one might protect one’s own if, and when, the violence invaded one’s own land? Did one not have cause to weigh one’s own faith to assess their willingness to stand in belief even unto death?
“And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death.” Revelation 12:11
And for those who do not know or understand the prophecies- for those who do not know God, His written word, or His nature- was there not cause to wonder where HE was in all of this? How He could allow such atrocities under a loving and watchful eye?
And then we are reminded,
“It is Friday….but Sunday’s coming.”
I saw your posts on Friday.
I saw your posts on Saturday.
And then, I saw your posts on Sunday:
“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not there, but he has risen” Luke 24: 5-6
“He is risen. He is risen, indeed.”
“Happy resurrection Sunday.”
“Why the folded napkin matters”
“Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.”
etc. etc. etc.
And then, some lovely emails from some beautiful family members came in Sunday morning:
Happy Easter! Today I’m reminded of how much Christ has done for me. I’m especially thankful that He was gracious enough to die for me, so that I could grow up, live , and be apart of an amazing family. I’m ultra blessed to have you as such amazing parents, but more importantly, amazing friends 🙂 Christ really knew what he was doing when he put you both in my lives. I’m blessed beyond words to have you both always there encouraging me with my walk with God and always being amazing role models of what being a Christian looks like and what unconditional love looks like. Thank you both from the bottom of my heart. I love you!
Happy Easter back at you-This morning the birds were singing as the first shadows began to strain the darkness from the air. I stood outside for a moment, with the fragrance of spring recalling a thousand memories. I considered that morning, so long ago that brought us all hope of an eternal morning. No pain, no sorrow, no tomorrow.
Upon reading all of these beautiful words, I was reminded that those of us who believe are strong in our belief. I did not feel so all alone. I did not feel so disheartened.
Many of you who know me, know that I am not a huge fan of the North American church model. I think that we have gone way off course and have entered into a hearty corruption all our own. I do, however, believe wholeheartedly in the gathering together with the saints, I just believe it should be done quite a bit differently….quite a bit more scripturally. But today! On this day, I longed to stand with you- together arm in arm in our collective services- and proclaim with you in unity and in power that Jesus rose from the dead “…and if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” and that, “this promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” I missed that opportunity to gather with you today, and I was sorrowful because of it. I missed it, not by intention, but by circumstance.
And that is why your posts from the Facebook community hugged me and held me up. And your diversity was impressive and eye-opening. You were bikers. You were musicians who have never graced the doors of a religious ‘building.’ You were evangelists who had fallen from grace. You were littered with tattoos. You smoked marijuana. You drank beer. (Shhhh…I won’t tell the church goers who are addicted to food, and whose drug of choice is coffee). You were housewives running after rambunctious toddlers. You were Baptists (heaven forbid!) You were Catholics (good grief!) You were Churches of Christ (but of course!) You were Holy rollers (rock on!) You were Mormon (huh?) You were business owners. You were blue collar workers. You were Dylan fans. You were U2 fans. You were Metallica fans. You were republicans. You were democrats. You were independents. You were doctors and nurses. You had just…. lost….a ….child….
But you stood up, and you spoke up. What does this tell me about all of you? This tells me you are committed. This tells me you are courageous. In a world that is offended (translated, convicted) when you say ‘God bless you,’ you still rose up one more year to proclaim that God came to earth, took on the form of a man and lived among us. And He, who created us, we killed. And He willingly died as a sacrifice for our sins, then rose again on the 3rd day so that we, too, could live again, though we might die.
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
…in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
Brothers and sisters, it’s Friday….but Sunday’s a comin!