Christ

A Prayer Concerning the Events at the Boston Marathon

Most Gracious Lord,

Holy and Blessed be Your Name forever and ever.

History tells us that evil exists. The bombing at the Boston Marathon is a reminder that the effects of sin live on in this world. And in moments like these creation’s expectation increases for a recreated cosmos.

The Psalmist tells us that evil people are trapped by what they have done. We pray that their traps will swallow them. We pray also that your righteous sword will act speedily in dealing with these unrighteous acts committed by lovers of evil.

We pray especially that those deacons of righteousness would act speedily on behalf of those who grieve. May unrighteousness perish!

We are also mindful of those who lost loved ones. We ask that you would comfort them by your Spirit. As the Gospels attest, we pray for the ultimate triumph of good in this world. And for this to happen your Church needs to act in deed and mercy towards those who weep. May we grieve together and never forget that only Christ can truly wipe away our tears.

We ask that you would provide wisdom to pastors, especially in Boston, as they guide their congregations this coming Lord’s Day in prayer and supplication.

In times like these, we are reminded of our finiteness. We are reminded that we are as vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. So remind us, O Lord, that our days are numbered, but also refresh our hearts in the task before us. May we not grow weary in doing good, and though our days are numbered, your kingdom has no end.

Our prayers are not in vain, because we ask these things in the Name of the merciful Lord; the One who never closes His eyes or ears to the cries of His children. Lord, hear our prayer.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Bring Out the Champagne! The Party Has Just Begun!

Easter is gone, right? Actually Easter has just begun! The Easter Season lasts for 50 days. It is glorified in the PENT-ecost season. According to the Christian Calendar, Easter lasts until May 19th (Pentecost Sunday). But didn’t we spend ourselves bodily and spiritually this past Lord’s Day? If that’s the case, stir yourselves unto good works. The party has just begun!

We–who are liturgically minded–tend to carefully attend to the Lenten and Advent Calendar, but yet we forget that apart from the Resurrection Lent and Advent would not make any sense. After all, what are we expecting? A virgin birth to a son who would simply die at the age of 33? What are we expecting? A perpetually closed tomb? A sight for annual pilgrimages to Israel?

I am suggesting we need to stock up in our champagne bottles. Every Sunday meal needs to start with the popping of a champagne bottle. “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! POP! “Children, that’s the sound of victory!”

For every day of Easter, set aside a little gift for your little ones or your spouse. We set 100 Easter eggs aside for our two oldest children and let them open them up each day. Other traditions can be added, of course. We indulge in Easter hymnody and Psalmnody.  Easter is no time to get back to business as usual, it’s time to elevate the party spirit.

With that in mind, here are a few suggestions for these next 46 days:

First, for evening family readings, meditate specifically on the Resurrection account and the post-resurrection accounts. Digest every detail of the gospels, and also allow St. Paul to add his resurrection theology in I Corinthians 15.

Second, teach one another the art of hope. We live in a hopeless culture. We walk around with little enthusiasm for what God is doing in our midst. We also don’t believe that God is changing us and conforming us to the image of His son. We need to–especially in this season–to rejoice more with those who rejoice and encourage more those who weep with the hope granted to us in the Resurrection of our Messiah.

Third, invest in changing your community. Ask your pastor in what ways can you be more fruitful in your service to the congregation. Consider also your neighbors. Do you know them? If you do, how many have been in your homes for a meal or a drink, or simply to talk?

Fourth, play Easter music in your home and in the office. Here are some selections of great CDs or MP3’s.

Finally, avoid the introspective rituals that are so prevalent in our Christian culture. Do not allow doubts to overtake you. Think of your Triune baptism. Trust in Christ fervently. Allow the Covenant of Grace to shape your identity. The resurrection of Jesus was the confirmation that those in Christ are made for glory. Look to Jesus and serve Jesus by serving others. By doing so, you will not grow weary in doing well, and you will learn to party beside the empty tomb.

Christ is Risen!

Communion Meditation: The Table of Joy

The Resurrection of Jesus created this newly gathered body, called the Church. Of course, the Church has existed since the Garden, but never has the Church possessed such glory, such overflowing joy, and such unity than when she was bathed in the Resurrection waters. The Old Church needed a thorough cleansing, and from the empty tomb flowed these rivers of life that begins this washing and cleansing of Christ’s Bride. Christ was raised for the sake of His Bride and World.

This meal is a continual celebration of the empty tomb. This is why this is a table of joy. The last Supper is now replaced with a new Supper each time we meet. And because this is a new meal it never becomes bitter to our taste. His mercies are new each time we gather as Resurrected people.Come and eat.