At last, it came. Easter morning. I was up often through the night, watching the clock, and frankly, dreaming of THE DAY - THE GREAT DAY of Christian history. The day of which we can be sure, of God lifting up His Son, in new life. Through all the dark day of Good Friday out on Calvary's Hill, with pounding nails, and taunting voices, and blood and tears, and even the agonizing cry, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" There was the hymn's great assurances, that "Standeth God within the shadows, keeping watch about His own."
Never forsaken. The Father ever on watch, guarding His Son. And guarding us. Keeping His promise, through the Son" "In my Father's home are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I prepare a place for you, I will come again, and take you to myself, that you can be with Me always."
The Risen Lord, not defeated by Death, but rather, its conqueror, bursting the tomb, leaving grave-clothes behind, coming out into the dawn of that First Day of the Week, ALIVE, in a new way, appearing to Mary, then to the huddled disciples, and to Cleopas out on the road to Emmaus.
Like the famous story in Scotland, that Molly and I heard when we studied there, of the great preacher, R. W. Dale, of Carr's Lane Church, Birmingham, writing his parish sermon alone in his study, and suddenly leaping up, pounding the table, and fairly shouting to the empty room: "Why! It's true! It's true!"
IT IS TRUE. History: greatest miracle: Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, returning to His own, to the world He came to save, by the power of God's love for His own. What a wonder.
Finally, about Sunrise Service time, I hit the floor, made it to the bathroom. Shaved. No whiskers today. Found a clean white shirt for Easter. Extracted one of my loud, flowered ties for the day. Donned my pants. And, made it into this day, the wonderful day. Feeling the great assurance, not even wondering how long I have to live, but ready to take the days as they come, glad for every one.
Joel Osteen, our first TV preacher of the day, in his great assurances, reminded me "God knew the length of your days before you were born. Your days were planned long ago. Stop worrying." REJOICE! Oh, Yay!
There followed Wooddale Church's service on our in-house TV. Later, Salem Covenant's service. Snatches of the great music of the day. And, of all things, testimonies on the networks, of Whose day it is, and daring to say "JESUS" without fear. Progress!
Molly provided her wonderful eggs and bacon Sunday brunch, which we ate while watching the whirling snow outside our window. Then Sunday rest.
A highlight was Kristen, Bruce and Billy coming by with pie from Kiki's kitchen and a conversation - by cell phone - through the glass of the front door. They were replete with smiles and future hope for better, wiser life from all God is teaching us through these pandemic days.
We'll watch another TV service or two, eat our pie, and go to our bed restored, encouraged, and filled with fresh hope, praising God for the wonder of what this day means.
So, the "Day of Resurrection" comes, and the 2,000 years between seem as nothing, and we are living in the truth of it again, and feeling the VICTORY all about us.
Our very missing of the "beloved community" reminds us how important the Church is, as THE BODY OF CHRIST ON EARTH, filled with Jesus as His people live out the high calling, daring to go into the world, full of the Spirit, bearing NEWS that is very life and hope to the world around us.
May we dare to say it, and live it boldly, in the wonderful days in store for us ahead.
Love you so much.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES