There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous: “The right hand of the Lord does valiantly; the right hand of the Lord is exalted; the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.” I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.
Psalm 118 portrays a liturgical act in which all of Israel joins in giving thanks for a victory in battle against all odds.
As we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord we recognize that God has done this marvelous act of defeating Satan by raising Jesus from the dead, and conquered death and the grave, not just for himself but for all who place their trust in him. Certainly this is reason for us to sing glad songs of victory.
This victory of Resurrection is accomplished through, “the stone which the builders rejected, Jesus Christ”.
This stone has become the cornerstone which was done by the Lord, so is it not wonderful in our sight?” To rejoice over this victory is what Easter Sunday, and all of our lives as Christians are about. Our rejoicing is a lifelong event as we follow Jesus and celebrate the life God gives us as his children.
After the snow and ice that we central Texans experienced this winter, I was left with flower beds in the front of my house and a flower bed in the back yard with nothing but dead plants. Everything had to come out and be replaced. My grandson and my son and daughter-in-law helped me accomplish that task. As I watched them pull up dead plants, and trim back those that survived in the root only, I was faced with the financial cost of replacing almost all of the shrubs and flowers. Some of you may have had to replant flowers and shrubs like I did after the freeze, and you know that it is very costly. As they were being pulled up and discarded, I remembered how beautiful the flowers were last year. I hoped that someday I would see flowers and greenery decking my yard again.
I was filled with sadness as we spent the afternoon tearing out all the dead plants, but I know when I can replace some of these plants with live plants I will also have hope for new life, new buds, new flowers, brightness and color to return. There is deep sadness when we see plants or people die. Yet Easter reminds us that the the right hand of the Lord is exalted with the resurrection of Jesus, and as we live into our resurrected lives in Him.
We can give thanks and praise to God that because God raised Jesus from the dead he has assured us that we will never die. We will need pruning from time to time so that new growth can come forth from us, but our human life will give way to life eternal with God.
That eternal life root in us is what God has planted in us forever.
It will never die regardless of the circumstances of this life, and you and I are given the opportunity to always give praise to God for this gift of life. As we live resurrected lives we can tell others about the wondrous deeds of God, who gives life to the lifeless, and puts a song of life, hope and a light of faith and joy in our hearts. May you each have a wonderful Easter because God has Eastered in you!
- How are you blooming where God has planted you? Or, how are you living to tell others about the wondrous life God has given you and desires to give them?
- Do you sometimes feel like your faith is dying, or not blooming for the world to see and recognize as an eternal gift of God?
- Will you pray for God’ grace to bloom and grow in your heart so others may see the glorious life that he has given you to share.
Sue is NLS Spiritual Director, since 2019 and is a retired Lutheran Pastor (ELCA). Active in VdC since 1995, she has served two terms on the Board of the Texas VdC Secretariat, and also on the Texas Gulf Coast VdC Board as Spiritual Director since its start-up in 2017.