Fri, 10 April 2020
O soldier of Christ
who stood with courage
against the powers of this world,
leading the troops in your charge
even unto death –
pray that we may remain
loyal to our call,
faithful to the Lord
even unto our own death,
standing strong and tall
against the assaults of the world
and the devil
and forming those entrusted to us
in the ways of God
as you, dear shepherd,
have bravely done.
Let us not be afraid
to shed our blood for the truth,
to suffer persecution
in order to light the way
that leads to life,
the life that is Christ,
who strengthens us with the armor of God.
Fri, 10 April 2020
(Gn.1:1-2:2; Ps.104:1-2,5-6,10,12-14,24,35 or Ps.33:4-7,12-13,20-22; Gn.22:1-18; Ps.16:5,8-11; Ex.14:15-15:1; Ex.15:1-6,17-18; Is.54:5-14; Ps.30:2,4-6,11-13; Is.55:1-11; Is.12:2-6; Bar.3:9-15,32-4:4; Ps.19:8-11; Ez.36:16-17a,18-28; Ps.42:3,5,43:3,4;
Rom.6:3-11; Ps.118:1-2,16-17,22-23; Mt.28:1-10 or Mk.16:1-7 or Lk.24:1-12)
“He is not here.”
The women come faithfully to the tomb early Easter morning. What do they find but that the stone is rolled back from its gaping mouth; and angel(s) in white deliver unto them the message of the ages: “He has been raised.”
This night, this early morning, we are led through salvation history, through our own history as human beings made in the image of God here upon the face of the earth, souls coming unto heaven. “Our soul waits for the Lord, who is our help and our shield,” is the song of the Old Testament. From the beginning of Creation our hearts are set on Him. Along the way “Abraham took the wood for the holocaust and laid it on his son Isaac’s shoulders,” prefiguring the Father’s own sacrifice of His Son for our sins and our salvation. Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, out of the land of sin, through the Red Sea, “with the water like a wall to their right and to their left,” prefiguring our Baptism as Christians; and they “sing to the Lord for He is gloriously triumphant,” prefiguring our own joy.
Always we are reminded by the prophets of old: “The Lord calls you back, like a wife forsaken and grieved in spirit.” And he who heard the call even then sang, “O Lord, you brought me up from the netherworld; you preserved me from those going down into the pit.” Yes, repeatedly the Lord calls out through His prophets: “Come to the water!… Come, without paying and without cost, drink wine and milk!” He promises, “With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation.” We who “have forsaken the fountain of wisdom” by the sin that plagues our inheritance are called back to “the One who established the earth for all time… before whom the stars at their posts shine and rejoice”; we are called to cling to the Word of God, to Wisdom: “Turn, O Jacob, and receive her: walk by her light toward splendor.” For the sake of His Name, the Lord who “scattered them among the nations” now beckons His children home. And those of faith sing with David, “Send forth your light and your fidelity; they shall lead me on and bring me to your holy mountain, to your dwelling place.”
Brothers and sisters, we know that “we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death,” the death to sin. And having been “buried with Him,” we are also raised with Him this night, this morning, that “we too might live in newness of life.” Now His holy dwelling place is here among us with the purest of light that rises this day. Let us be children of this holy Light. No longer in the tomb let us dwell.
Written, read & chanted, and produced by James Kurt.
Music: "Removing the Log from My Eye" (third part) from Listening to the Lamp, ninth album of Songs for Children of Light, by James Kurt.
O LORD, from the tomb your Son has been raised,
and we shall be raised with Him.
YHWH, your Son is no longer in the tomb, and we have escaped with Him. It is the third day and He has been raised, just as He said. The stone is rolled away and so now all souls may leave the darkness of this world behind and come with Jesus to the light of Heaven.
You have led us to this day, O LORD, throughout all our history, it has always been your intention to save our souls and raise us to you, even from the time of Creation. And so you called Abraham to sacrifice his son; and so you led the Israelites out of Egypt. Your Wisdom has been upon your people every step of our way that we might be wed to you in your eternal kingdom.
And now in the death and resurrection of your Son you fulfill your will among us. And now we who are baptized into His death are raised to glory with Him. Let it be declared to all, LORD, that the Christ is no longer in the tomb, but awaits us all in new life.