Sat, 4 May 2019
(Acts 5:27-32,40b-41; Ps.30:2,4-6,11-13; Rv.5:11-14; Jn.21:1-19)
“You changed my mourning into dancing.”
Throughout our readings today we witness the glory the risen Lord effects by His sacrifice, the change of fate that comes by the Savior.
In our first reading, though the apostles are brought before the Sanhedrin for persecution, they leave their presence rejoicing, happy to have “suffer[ed] dishonor for the sake of the name.” In our psalm David sings the praise of the Lord for His having brought him “up from the netherworld,” turning his weeping into joy. In our second reading, John sees and hears “every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, everything in the universe, cry out” the “blessing and honor, glory and might” of “the Lamb that was slain” – perceiving thus the ultimate fulfillment of the Lord’s living sacrifice. And in our gospel, though the apostles had toiled in vain all the night within their boat, and were tired and hungry and disillusioned as morning approached, Jesus stood upon the shore… and at His instruction they caught more fish than they could carry, and were fed by His hand.
The light follows darkness, inevitably. “At nightfall, weeping enters in, but with the dawn, rejoicing.” It is the maxim of the universe, epitomized by the death and resurrection of the Christ. And so, though Jesus calls Peter from the freedom he has known in youth to the bondage that shall be his as he “grow[s] old,” it is understood that, indeed, by this “death he [will] glorify God,” and thus joining his death with the Lord’s own, shall know the same glorious morn Jesus does now own, and to which He leads all His followers.
Darkness can never overcome the eternal light of our God; of the glory of the Lord the angels and all living creatures sing in heaven even now. And we shall join their voices soon, we shall stand in the ranks with Peter and John and David and all His holy ones very soon. Once we have finished giving thanks to the living God for the suffering we are graced to endure here in His name, we will come to the joy that is ours in Him in heaven. Then we shall dance and sing forever.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Souls at a Carnival" from All One, sixth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, may the blood of your Son cleanse us of sin,
and may our own death glorify you.
YHWH, Jesus was killed by being hung on a tree, but you preserved Him from among those going down into the pit, you brought Him up from the netherworld, and with Him all those obedient to His Word. Now in glory He sits with you upon the throne, and the angels and all creatures in Heaven and on earth and under the earth praise His holy Name. And, yes, those who follow Him here unto death shall come to such glory with Him in Heaven.
To the Lamb who was slain belong all honor and glory and blessing; and to His disciples, to those who lay down their lives that His sheep might be fed, comes the blessing that rests upon Him. O LORD, make us fruitful in your sight! May we help turn the mourning of mankind into dancing and singing before your throne. Forever let us give you thanks for having been found worthy to suffer dishonor here for the sake of your Name.