Out from heaven's palaces, splendor filled and bright!
Came the King and He came to bring, to the world new life and light.
What grace is this that brought my Savior down!
that made Him leave His glorious throne & crown.
The one who made the earth, the sky, & sea.
Who put the stars in every galaxy! What condescension,
oh how can it be! What shame He suffered oh what agony!
And then the death He died, for sinners crucified,
What grace is this! What grace is this!
Contemporary Hymn by John W. Peterson
Just as it has done so since time began, planet earth
has tilted on its axis, bringing harbingers of Spring to the Shenandoah
Valley. In my wee garden, three yellow
crocus blossoms announce the Resurrection.
And another family of sparrows have taken residence in my garden
chalet...a spring serendipity.
“If you had to choose one word to ....express the very
essence of the New Testament faith, this word (Resurrection) would have to be
the most characteristic”, wrote James S. Stewart in a sermon he titled “The
Power of Resurrection”. It is momentous
to ponder the burning certainty of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and Paul that He
whom they knew so intimately had conquered death and was alive
forevermore. Christ had risen from the
dead. At a time when cynics and pundits are
writing the obituary of Christian faith, true believers are crying out, “Man,
don’t you know that God is alive!” A
faithful remnant partake of that same power which captured the early believers,
giving them the same moral energy, making them resurrected personalities,
whole, brave, and vital, throbbing with new life. The New Testament saints wrote
same gifts for all who will believe Jesus is alive today and become His
disciples, tapping resurrection power for daily living. Believing undaunted
that we live in two
worlds, two kingdoms, at once, we tap the resources of the kingdom of heaven for
confronting the powers of darkness.
We need the year-long relevance of Easter to combat
violence, cruelty, hatred, lawlessness, and terrorism. Writes James S. Stewart:
“The power that was
strong enough to get Jesus out of the grave and thus to set going the whole
Christian movement across the centuries, mighty enough to shatter and confound
the hideous demonic alliance of evil, creative enough to smite death with
resurrection – this power is in action still....We are celebrating a
magnificent incontrovertible reality.
And therefore you and I, amid all the battering dilemmas and
disillusionments of contemporary history, can lift up our heads, knowing and
rejoicing that God still reigns, and that God is in the field when He is most
God of peace,
that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the
sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every
good work to do His will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in His
sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews