Say It with Me: Alleluia!
By David R. Brock of Redmond, OR, USA
But the LORD sits enthroned forever,
he has established his throne for judgment.
He judges the world with righteousness;
he judges the peoples with equity.
The LORD is a stronghold for the oppressed,
a stronghold in times of trouble.
And those who know your name put their trust in you,
for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Sing praises to the LORD, who dwells in Zion.
Declare his deeds among the peoples. -Psalm 9:7-11 NRSV
After six weeks of Lent, during the time the word cannot be uttered, “Alleluia” has now been whispered and shouted and sung from the lips of hundreds of millions around the globe. “Alleluia, Christ is risen!”
Nicaea, Turkey, was the location of the first ecumenical council of the Christian church in AD 325. That First Council of Nicaea decreed Easter would be celebrated on the Sunday following the first full moon after the spring equinox. Now there are more Christians south of the equator than north of it, and Easter is an early day of autumn for most followers of Jesus. We make so many connections between spring and Easter. What connections with new life and resurrection hope can be made for that growing majority who are now experiencing fall?
In his book The Immense Journey (Vintage, 1959), Loren Eiseley says most people believe the best time to look for the secrets of life is in spring. They would “doubt the wisdom of coming out among discarded husks in the dead year to pursue such questions. I have come to suspect that the mystery may just as well be solved in a carved and intricate seed case out of which the life has flown, as in the seed itself” (p. 196).
I am moved by the connection of Easter to the seasons, as were the Gospel writers: “…unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24). The imagery of nature’s annual journey from life to death to the fallow waiting season to life again is powerful.
Easter is even more life-giving and more disruptive than the rhythms and patterns of nature. Is there something more here? Easter, for Christians, is the center point of all time and space. The monks who begin their vigil at 3:15 on Easter morning say these words:
Christ yesterday and today
The beginning and the end
All time belongs to him
And all the ages
To him be glory and power
Through every age forever.
The word can now be uttered again. Say it with me: “Alleluia! Alleluia, Christ is risen!”
Spirit now live in me.
Breathe deeply and enter a few minutes of silence. Be attentive to where you sense new life emerging in you. Search your memories of the previous day. When did you notice the sacredness of life in surprising places or forms in the world around you?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
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