Friday, April 10, 2009

"Up From The Grave He Arose..."

Do you remember that hymn?

I 'member it from my Killarney Park days (meaning I was <20 when I last sung it.)

I kinda had a hankering to sing it this Easter. So far I haven't.

As expected, attending the big Abbotsford multi-church Good Friday service this evening was a very good idea. I went to the totally packed (my outer thigh and bum cheeks were touching the people sitting beside me in the balcony pew. Do you know how long it's been since I've sat that close to someone? Years. Once Drew grew out of that snuggly stage, I've had at least 10" of airspace around me at all times. So it was a bit of a challenge for me to sit there and concentrate on the big picture with someonethisclosetome. I'm a freak. And, by the way, I didn't used to be this way. I remember being a cuddle bunny - in fact there are pictures - until, oh about 1997.) - I went to the totally packed 5 pm service.

ANYwayz, like I was saying, I'm glad I went tonight. The music? Pure awesomeness. Mennonites, generally, are a muscially talented bunch. Tonight was a showcase of the best: CBC Choir, full worship band (almost 2 ful bands), trumpet, violin ... ohsogood. Shivers down my spine good.

Know what I think? I think that there should be a church service every night of the week so that if you're feeling low or down or out of sorts or pissy or mixed up, you could go to a church and listen to folks worshiping their guts out and get all peace-filled again. How hard would that be to arrange? I'm plotting the logistics in my mind and I think it's a totally do-able idea.

The best part of the evening, besides the full, rich, harmonious, joy-filled singing (there were at least 500 white-haired heads in the audience. Do they ever know how to sing harmony - beautiful) - the best part was when Bev, a pastor from Northview, led us in prayer near the end. She was using the Lord's Prayer as a template as she prayed, so you could sort of expect where her next thought was going, (hallowed name, will being done, daily bread, etc) until, with an unexpected twist, she says, "Who would like to see an Easter miracle? and then she prays for an Easter miracle. For many Easter miracles. For my Easter miracle?

I had sorta given up on that. I say with my mouth that I trust God. But the rest of me? Not so much. So while I pray for my miracle, I fully anticipate that it won't happen. Just because I want something to happen by Easter Sunday, doesn't mean it will. God has His own timing in these things and just because I want it desperately, doesn't mean squat in the big picture. (And, in the end, I really don't think God can do this thing. It's like me asking Him to make someone fall in love with me. He can't do that. He gave us free will and choice and He can't make someone love me. And He won't "make" someone love Him.)

And so I go in circles. In the end, all I can do is pray that His will be done in His perfect timing. But sometimes it gets discouraging, you know?

And then we sing this and I think, My God! He can move mountains. He is mighty! He is mighty to save. He conquered that grave. Today may be Friday, but Sunday's coming.

My Saviour, He can move the mountains,
My God is Mighty to save, He is Mighty to save.
Forever, Author of salvation,
He rose and conquered the grave,
Jesus conquered the grave.

Shine your light and let the whole world see,
We're singing for the glory of the risen King...Jesus

I held it all together until the veriest end when the pastor of Seven Oaks gave the benediction. I love benedictions, especially when the pastor recites them with authority and an outstretched hand. I think tonight's was from Numbers 6:

‘May the Lord bless you and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.’


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