Author’s note: This piece was written a number of years ago on the Saturday of Easter Weekend.
Today is Good Friday. Like many of you, I spent my morning remembering, in solemn fashion, just how big a sacrifice our great God made for us, his innumerable, minuscule creatures. I have the privilege of singing in the choir and we were many, well-prepared, and fit to praise Him. During rehearsal, we filed in to our respective places, mine forever and always being the front row. Shortly thereafter, I was promoted, the little twerp that I am, to the second row. We were all wearing black and apparently my extreme “whiteness” was breaking up the homogeneity of the front line. I rather liked the feeling of being less exposed, surrounded and hugged by my fellow songbirds and I nestled in for the half an hour we would be standing there. What I didn’t know was how important this closeness would be for me.
Many of you know that beautiful, Jesus music makes me cry. Often, during worship, God wrings out my heart through my eyes. Today was no exception. I began singing Brahms’s “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” strong, but the absolute gloriousness of it, the gracious way the voices of the people of God passed by and folded back in on each other, pierced my heart. My lips began to quiver and I could no longer even form the words much less sing them. The face and hands of the conductor blurred and the tears spilled out over my cheeks like tiny, iridescent pearls. Trying to stifle the sobs and hide my streaked face, I slowly raised my choir music, dropping more pearls on the pages I was no longer turning. Through “There is a Fountain Filled with Blood” to “Were You There When They Crucified My Lord”, the truth of the Gospel was being proclaimed to me by my brothers and sisters in Christ. The good news of Jesus death on a cruel cross, clothed in agonizing torture, heart wrenching weariness, untold anguish, and overwhelming loneliness, was hammering my heart. As I quietly cried in my cocoon, I was ministered to in a profound way. My prayer for you this Easter season is that you will experience anew, to the depth of your being, the love of God in the sacrifice of Christ. Grace and peace.
Complete the experience. Listen to David Phelps and Lana Ranahan sing I’ve just seen Jesus.
Author’s Note: Feature photo credit: https://unsplash.com/@aaronburden
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