Pre-Sunrise Meditations

Easter has come and passed. Quickly. I am suddenly appreciative of the ancient church observance of Lent which has never been a part of my experience or practice. Seven weeks of preparation and anticipation focused upon the celebration of the resurrection might certainly highlight the day and set the day in a proper relief and context.

But is not the weekly Lord’s day worship supposed to do that?

I walked outside thie Easter Sunday morning, “while it was still dark,” for reasons no more spiritual than to retrieve the Sunday paper. I looked around at all the quiet houses wondering how many of them really knew and believed that the Son of God had been raised from the dead. I wondered as well how zealous I would be to tell them if I really understood the profound significance of this reality. (I quickly ruled out banging on doors and shouting “He is risen” as being uneighborly at 5:45 AM.)

When the early church moved the weekly Sabbath from it’s seventh day position, it did not move it to the sixth day to commemorate the death of Christ, as critical as that is. Rather, the weekly sabbath was moved to the first day to commemorate His resurrection. The first day of the week stands as a perpetual reminder that He is risen.

My longing is that NO Sunday would pass by this year without my reflecting upon the knowledge that we worship and serve a living God who has raised our savior and Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.

One thought on “Pre-Sunrise Meditations

  1. MagistraCarminae

    Amen and amen…The sermon by John Chrysostom has been sent to me twice in the last two days, so I post is here as further reflection…Easter SermonJohn Chrysostom (349-407)Is there anyone who is a devout lover of God?Let them enjoy this beautiful bright festival!Is there anyone who is a grateful servant?Let them rejoice and enter into the joy of their Lord!Are there any weary with fasting? Let them now receive their wages!If any have toiled from the first hour, let them receive their due reward;If any have come after the third hour, let him with gratitude join in the Feast!And he that arrived after the sixth hour, let him not doubt; for he too shall sustain no loss.And if any delayed until the ninth hour, let him not hesitate; but let him come too.And he who arrived only at the eleventh hour, let him not be afraid by reason of his delay.For the Lord is gracious and receives the last even as the first.He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, as well as to him that toiled from the first.To this one He gives, and upon another He bestows.He accepts the works as He greets the endeavor.The deed He honors and the intention He commends.Let us all enter into the joy of the Lord! First and last alike receive your reward; rich and poor, rejoice together!Sober and slothful, celebrate the day!You that have kept the fast, and you that have not, rejoice today for the Table is richly laden!Feast royally on it, the calf is a fatted one.Let no one go away hungry. Partake, all, of the cup of faith.Enjoy all the riches of His goodness!Let no one grieve at his poverty, for the universal kingdom has been revealed.Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again; for forgiveness has risen from the grave.Let no one fear death, for the Death of our Savior has set us free.He has destroyed it by enduring it.He destroyed Hades when He descended into it.He put it into an uproar even as it tasted of His flesh.Isaiah foretold this when he said,”You, O Hell, have been troubled by encountering Him below.”Hell was in an uproar because it was done away with.It was in an uproar because it is mocked.It was in an uproar, for it is destroyed.It is in an uproar, for it is annihilated.It is in an uproar, for it is now made captive.Hell took a body, and discovered God. It took earth, and encountered Heaven.It took what it saw, and was overcome by what it did not see.O death, where is thy sting?O Hades, where is thy victory?Christ is Risen, and you, o death, are annihilated!Christ is Risen, and the evil ones are cast down!Christ is Risen, and the angels rejoice!Christ is Risen, and life is liberated!Christ is Risen, and the tomb is emptied of its dead;for Christ having risen from the dead,is become the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.To Him be Glory and Power forever and ever. Amen!

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