Our joy that has no end!

By | April 16, 2017

Fire flamed against the night sky. The small church building was a total loss. Members of the congregation met, and decided to hold Sunday Services in the only available building in town, the local tavern.

As the people assembled on the following Sunday morning, the tavern owner’s pet parrot looked out over the crowd and proclaimed in a squawking tone: “New piano player. New M.C. New floor show. Same old crowd!”

A cross is starkly outlined against the skyline of history. The Leader has been cruelly put to death. His followers are at a loss as to what to do next. They ran away. They hid. They huddled together in fear in an upper room.

They had given up hope; despair filled their hearts and minds. Same old crowd!

Then came Easter! Resurrection Day! The grave is empty; Jesus is alive! They see him with their own eyes. They hear his compelling voice. They touch him with trembling hands. They share a meal with him, again.

They now know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Jesus Christ is alive! They know that He is with them, alive and well! They are not the same old crowd, and never will be!

Christ’s followers went out into the whole world and changed that world for good! They preached with great power. They taught the truth about God’s love and mercy and grace. They healed the sick, opened blind eyes, forgave sins, turned messed-up lives around, changed people’s life-style for good, and forever.

Because of their witness and testimony, many people would never again be “the same old crowd!”

This is Easter! This is Resurrection Day! May God have mercy on us is we come to Easter and go away unchanged, if we remain the same old crowd! May God have mercy on us if we come to Resurrection Day and go away the same old person as before!

If, in fact, we have seen and heard and felt the presence of the Risen Christ, life for us can never again be the same!

EASTER! RESURRECTION NEW LIFE! NEW  CROWD!

“The day of resurrection! Earth tell it out abroad! The passover of gladness, the passover of God! From death to life eternal, from earth unto the sky, our Christ has brought us over with hymns of victory!

“Our hearts be pure from evil, that we may see aright the Lord in rays eternal of resurrection light! And listening to his accents, may hear so loud and plain, His words ‘All hail!’, and hearing, may raise the victor’s strain!

“Now let the heavens be joyful! Let earth her song begin! Let the round world keep triumph, and all that is therein! Let all things, seen and unseen, their notes in gladness blend! For Christ the Lord has risen, our Joy that has no end!” — John of Damascus (8th century hymn-writer)

By Dr. Don Kuehle

(Dr. Don Kuehle is a retired United Methodist pastor in Missouri.)

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