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Monday, April 6, 2015
"A Glorious Day"
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"It is true! The Lord has risen" (Luke 24:34).
One day the grave could conceal Him no longer,
One day the stone rolled away from the door;
Then He arose, over death He had conquered;
Now is ascended, my Lord evermore!
Did you gather with other believers to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ yesterday? I am sure we sang some of the same songs to honor the risen Christ. We're also aware that some of our readers are unable to get out and be with others. We trust you experienced Easter in your heart, and possibly worshipped Him with other believers via television, online or some other valuable resource that brings live worship into your setting.
Upon our awakening on Easter morning we already knew the familiar resurrection story. We can only try to understand the excitement of those first participants. At that time the news travelled so slowly compared to today. Likely today the news would first be disseminated with a tweet hash tag #Christarose. The disciples would then put their accounts up on their Facebook page and in no time someone would have a YouTube video posted that would most certainly go viral!
This makes me recall a memorable experience Cal Bacon a friend of mine shared when he was a young music minister in a church in Chicago. I knew Cal in the 1990's in New England before he retired and moved to Florida. For several years he sent out a weekly email update and inspirational message to his family and friends prior to his home going (he died on a mission trip in Africa). He had many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren and when I read his messages I sensed a type of modern patriarch, faithfully serving God and passing on the heritage to those behind him. One of his final messages was on Easter Sunday and he shared a remembrance from early in his ministry. It is a reflection from the past but a timely truth now and always:
"We celebrate RESURRECTION DAY! I shall never forget an event from the mid-fifties. I was on staff at the Stone Church in Chicago, Illinois as the Minister of Music and Youth. It was Easter Sunday Morning and as usual we were standing in the foyer of that great church welcoming the parishioners at they came in for worship. They were all dressed up with hats and corsages. At that time there was no communication from overseas except Western Union Telegraph. In through the front door popped a young man in a Western Union uniform. He handed the Pastor a yellow envelope. Pastor tore it open and it was from a missionary in Jerusalem. The words, written on 1/4" tape and pasted on the yellow paper were read to the congregation: "HE IS NOT HERE STOP HE IS RISEN STOP HALLELUJAH". ("Stop" was the word used for a period back then.) That made a tremendous impact on my young mind. And the same message is just as real today as it was back then. WE SERVE A RISEN LORD! HALLELUJAH! Our God is different from any other god in the world. He was embedded into mankind and then killed, but He rose again and now reigns as King of kings and Lord of lords. Praise His Name! Let's celebrate. GLORY!"
"It is true! The Lord has risen" (Luke 24:34). Have you made this affirmation? It was initially made by the two disciples who encountered the risen Lord on the road to Emmaus. That's the simple, straightforward report they brought to the eleven.
It's at the very heart of the Christian faith, a matter of "first importance" according to the apostle Paul. In fact Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins" (1 Corinthians 15:17).
You see; our faith is grounded in objective historical fact, not religious myth. Peter wrote, "We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty" (2 Peter 1:16).
And now here we are, nearly 2,000 years later (1,982 years based upon the commonly held date of 33 AD for Christ's resurrection). We write this early on a beautiful Monday morning looking out over a vast farm field. You're reading it in a variety of locations all around the world. After Resurrection Sunday it's back to work, back to living out the remainder of our allotted time on planet earth, back to what has often been referred to as "the daily grind." Yet the reality of the resurrection is a dynamic truth that should impact and permeate every area of our life. It should invigorate our walk with Christ and renew our hope in the midst of the daily grind so that our spirit soars above the wear and tear of life's demands.
One of the great evidences for the validity of the Christian faith is the changed lives of the disciples. From Resurrection morning onward they went forth as devoted servants of the resurrected Christ with many being martyred for their faith. The resurrection truth meant a deep, abiding commitment to the risen Lord for these early disciples of Christ and it has for believers in each subsequent generation, no matter the cost. The horrific murders of the 147 college students in Kenya last week by the Al Shabaab Muslim terrorists along with the 79 they left wounded has weighed heavily on our hearts. Based on the accounts consider the decision they had in their waking moments to either confess or deny Christ. Not only could they conjure in their minds the flash of martyrdom, they were seeing it firsthand as the victims lie dead all around them killed by gunfire, explosions, and even beheadings.
Today, hundreds of millions live for Jesus Christ and we are two of them. We earnestly hope you are as well. Yes, it's true, the Lord is risen! And we believe, you as a reader will properly respond, "He is risen, indeed!" Let us show that with our words, our actions, and our courageous commitment to follow Him, no matter the cost.
Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me;
Buried, He carried my sins far away;
Rising, He justified freely forever;
One day He’s coming—oh, glorious day!
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily prayer: Father, the message "He Is Risen" resounds beyond the inner walls of the tomb where Jesus' body no longer lay, for it resounds in our hearts and soars within our spirits nearly 2000 years later. We serve a risen Savior who is in the world today, who dwells within our hearts, and who reconciles us to You, our Father in heaven. What a joyous and triumphant day we celebrate at Easter and everyday as we acknowledge our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ who died, was buried, and who rose again. Amen.
My sister Genelle is good at finding old photos.
This photo was snapped on Easter in the mid-sixties in our lawn in Belton, Missouri.
Looks like we had an Easter basket filled with eggs and candy. I wonder if we had to wait till after eating our Easter dinner before indulging in the Easter candy. Mostly likely!
Brooksyne leading our worship on Easter morning with our choir and congregation singing, "Christ the Lord is Risen Today!".
Easter dinner with the Cnubes, from Zimbabwe, Africa now residing in our neighborhood while Notsen furthers his studies as a pastor. Ester's friends, Katharine and Bella Cooke also joined us.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
"Glorious Day" Video Casting Crowns
"Going Home" Video Bill Gaither and Tanya Goodman Sykes
"Why Can't We" Video The Isaacs
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, New King James Version (NKJV) Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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