A Prayer for Easter Sunday

Living God,

Some Sundays we come dragging in to the worship gathering
with a head that is battling doubts.

Are You there?
Why did You…?
Why didn’t You…?
Has this all been a waste of our time?

Some Sundays we come dragging in to the worship gathering
with a heart that is running on empty.

Tired from seeking.
Exhausted from serving.
Worn out from sacrificing.
Can we possibly carry on?

Some days we come dragging in to the worship gathering
with a life depleted by people.

People with their problems.
People with their imperfections.
People with their insensitivity.
Would it be OK to just isolate ourselves?

Some Sundays we come dragging in to the worship gathering
struggling with faith, hope, and love.

But today we remember that Friday
when the chosen scattered
and the sky grew dark
and the ground shook
and the tombs opened
and the veil in the temple was torn
and the Prince of Peace was terminated.

And we think of the faith, hope, and love
struggles of all who had followed Jesus.

And we remember that Sunday
when early in the morning they realized
Jesus was alive and nothing
would ever be the same.

Today we remember the cross
as we ready our hearts and our heads
for our time Together Sunday.

We prepare to gather Together
with expectancy and anticipation
that Jesus is still alive
and He will meet us there
in a room full of people
who gather in spite of
hopelessness,
doubt, and
discouragement.

Together we will proclaim:
Jesus is alive!

Ready our hearts, o God!

We pray in Jesus’ name,
AMEN

Rugged Cross of a White Activist

The Chicago Tribune recently published an article by Rich Kogan about a white activist by the name of Edwin King. The article begins. . .

In the autumn of 1963, members of the Ku Klux Klan burned a wooden cross on the lawn in front of the home of Rev. Edwin King, the white chaplain of historically black Tougaloo College in Jackson, Miss.

This act of cowardly intimidation came in reaction to King’s efforts in organizing a kneel-in campaign by students to desegregate Sunday morning worship services at churches in the city. It was one of many horrors suffered by King, a protégé of civil rights leader Medgar Evers and a man who has been called “the most visible white activist in the Mississippi civil rights movement.”

He was many times arrested and jailed and beaten before and after the cross burning. Six days after Evers was assassinated, a car in which King was riding was run off the road by a car driven by the son of a rabid segregationist.

His face smashed through the windshield and as he lay bleeding, he could hear the laughter of the white members of the crowd that surrounded the wrecked car and bodies.

You can read the entire article, entitled Rugged cross: Evil couldn’t triumph over this legacy of faith by clicking here.

Dylan’s Deathbed Music

In a recent interview with Rolling Stone, Bob Dylan was asked, “What’s the last song you would like to hear before you die?”

His answer: “How ’bout Rock of Ages?”

Well, I just had to pull out the old hymnal and take a look at the lyrics (written in 1776 by A. M. Toplady) and the music (1830 by Thomas Hastings).

After taking a look I just have to say “Good answer!”

I am especially moved by verses two and three.

Not the labor of my hands

Can fulfill the law’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite know,

Could my tears forever flow,

All for sin could not atone,

Thou must save and Thou alone

Nothing in my hand I bring:

Simply to thy Cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress;

Helpless, look to Thee for grace;

Vile, I to the fountain fly:

Wash me Savior or I die

Can you think of anything more comforting when on your deathbed than a song about God’s grace?

Life is not about our success. Life is about our Savior.

How much more the end of life!