He’s Still Risen!

IMG_0362 edit.jpgWhen the four walls of the church building cradle empty silence,

and the rafters do not ring with triumphant resurrection songs…

When there are no men laughing while flipping pancakes early in the kitchen,

and there are no white lilies on the altar,

When the Easter dresses hang forgotten in the closets,

and the day’s schedule is starkly empty of plans for egg hunts or big family gatherings…

When the only choir is virtual,

and dinner is a ham bought with a mask on your face,

and it’s just you,

and a message playing on a screen…

It’s okay.IMG_0348 editBecause even when the news is ominous,

and the internet is spewing conspiracy theories,

and people with high-strung emotions are swearing their opinions and reporting their neighbors and panic-hoarding their groceries,

and politicians argue ceaselessly over bills and numbers and medical supplies,

and hospitals are putting people in tents,

and the world is reeling in fear and uncertainty,

and upholding cherished traditions of celebration are impossible or limited,

and we feel stripped of fellowship and freedom

the Church yet rejoices, collectively triumphant in spirit.

Around the world,

in our hearts,

at peace,

now especially, and all the more so,

because the essential thing that unites us has not changed—

He’s still risen!

Hallelujah!

“But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; He has risen, just as He said!” (Matthew 28:5-6)

Click here if you want to “join” me and my family to celebrate!

A Psalm for Spring

IMG_4922 editWinter is well suited for contemplation.  Spring, I’m reminded lately, is not.  Spring is, rather, for living in the moment, moving constantly from the enjoyment of one beautiful, wonderful thing to the next, trying not to dwell on the fact that you’re probably still missing something wonderful.  Nothing sits still, lingers or waits for you.  There is a great tension of panic and excitement that wells up inside of me at the recognition of this.  I feel a little like my children, oh so impatient to be done with phonics and math, oh so eager to run outside and not miss a single glorious day of this fleeting season.

And to be honest, that’s kind of what I’ve been doing.  I’ve been so busy in my spare time taking pictures of the world exploding to life lately, I’ve had little time to think of composing words to accompany them and little motivation to sit down and apply myself to the task.  This is what happens to severely cabin-fevered Minnesotans after over half a year of winter, I suppose.  Finally, I’ve realized that soon I’ll have more pictures in my files than can ever properly fit in one blog post and I’d better quit waiting around for writing inspiration and just send them out into the world before they’re completely out of date.

Besides, I suspect the words of this ancient Psalm sum it up far better than I ever could.  Welcome to a little glimpse of the glory of spring that I’ve been reveling in.

IMG_4792 edit“How good it is to sing praises to our God, IMG_4926 edithow pleasant and lovely to praise Him!IMG_4939 edit.jpgGreat is our Lord, and mighty in power;IMG_5051 edit.jpgHis understanding has no limit.IMG_4917 edit.jpgSing to the LORD with thanksgiving; IMG_4947 edit.jpgmake music on the harp to our God, IMG_4995 edit.jpgwho covers the sky with clouds,img_5024-edit.jpgwho prepares rain for the earth,

IMG_5030 edit.jpg IMG_5044 edit.jpgwho makes grass to grow on the hills.IMG_5065 editHe sends forth His command to the earth; His word runs swiftly.IMG_5068 edit.jpgHe provides food for the animals,IMG_4978 edit.jpgand for the young ravens when they call.IMG_4984 edit.jpgHallelujah!”

(Excerpts from Psalm 147)