Hail Thee, Festival Day!

Happy Easter, everyone!

Let the refrain sound on high:
Hail Thee, festival day!
Blest day that art hallowed forever;
day wherein Christ arose,
breaking the kingdom of death.

Vaughan Williams set this text beautifully to the tune that you hear playing. He was a masterful composer of the British school, one of the first major composers from Britain since Henry Purcell, who lived more than 400 years ago.

And 400 years passes over the span of a heartbeat when compared to our infinitessimal God.

Today, we celebrate the risen Christ Jesus, and his victory, on our behalf, over the kingdom of death. Life eternal is made possible through His redeeming power. As Ralph Waldo Emerson said (and what I recently told my friend Kevin), "He takes men out of time and makes them feel eternity." This is such an overwhelming concept. God so loved this fallen, fragmented, sinful world, one that is utterly disgusting to him and unacceptable in his sight, that he gave his only begotten son, Jesus, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. Life eternal.

Some of you know that I haven't had a home church for some time now. It has been overcome by Satan and is soon to close its doors (long story, but I can expound sometime, should you ask). This Easter morning, I was invited to attend a church in a neighboring town. Of course, I accepted. And I was delighted.

Turns out I spent Easter Sunday morning at the church where I was baptised. That was such a moving and connective experience, if that makes any sense. I was able to celebrate the risen Christ, and take communion, in the church in which I was baptised. Needless to say, this morning was the most meaningful Easter Sunday that I have had in some time.

In closing, I must say: I love you all, my friends. It is through our mutual faith in Jesus that we can share this life, not just to be considered as a moment in time, only to end in death...but rather as a part of eternity. Right now. Praise God.


Christ lay in death's dark prison

Today marks two occasions, the latter more important than the former. First, it has been six months since my last post. And I'm okay with that. It's been an occupying six months at grad school, busy every second of every day, it seems. Second, it is the Tuesday of Holy Week.

In my experience with Holy Week, people haven't always felt its gravity as aptly as they perhaps should. I mean not to imply that deep solemnity, humility and reflection should only happen in the Christian life during these short seven days. A sober Christian life is an admirable thing. But how long were these five days to our Savior? And what are you doing, ESPECIALLY during this time, that could draw you closer or push you further from Christ? Ought not this week be an extra special period of growing in closeness to the One who hath borne our griefs and sorrows? Surely He has. And surely you must. For if He didn't, you surely would.

Sorry for the enigmatic statement there. But I trust you get the point.

I've always withdrawn from social life and my fellow man during this week. Those closest to me know well that it is certainly nothing personal. But I can't stand being around people during this time.

I would challenge you all to reflect longer, pray harder and focus and grieve deeper for this week. The Christian life is about tension and resolution. Tension in this life and resolution in the next. The concept of tension and resolution shows God's character related to us. It's all right here, in this week, folks. The perfect man has come and gone. That makes me hurt...and will soon, this year again, make me rejoice. But that will wait until Easter Sunday, my favorite holiday of the year.

I love you all, in the risen Christ.

Please enjoy the new music post - the first chorus to Bach's Cantata no. 4, entitled 'Christ lag in Todesbanden.' Christ lay in death's dark prison.

Et resurrexit...