Sunday, March 23, 2008

Shout on, pray on, we're gaining ground - glory, hallelujah!

Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
John 16:22
I have never felt the joy of being a Christian more fully than on this Easter day.

A dozen things already today highlight the full abundance that life with Jesus promises. Really, he promises it.
  1. I rode my bike downtown for Tenth Presbyterian Church's sunrise service. Headed due east on my iron steed, the city was filled with the glory of the rising sun, and I delighted to ride farther into it. My hands just about fell off from the morning air.

  2. During the service I was thinking to myself, "Man, I wish I had somewhere to go for pancakes." The pastor announced, "Please join us for pancakes in the fellowship hall after the service."

  3. After the service I ran into two newlywed friends.

  4. At the breakfast I saw a friend I haven't spoken to in a year and a half, and heard from him about the marriage of a freshman year acquaintance to the girlfriend he had been striving to love wholly and purely.

  5. At the table I caught the eye of a baby boy, and we played a nodding game.

  6. Also at the table were the baby's parents, a young doctor and his wife getting ready to move to Niger to heal the sick and bring hope to the brokenhearted.

  7. Between he and I was Dr. Joan Caddell, who graduated from medical school at Penn in 1952 as one of three women in her class. I heard of her own incredible experiences in Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. "I wasn't just sitting underneath the banana tree."

  8. I biked straight down a nearly empty Broad Street in the still-clear and still-early sunlight to Jonathan's house and shared in Easter morning with him, before heading back to church with his three lovely sisters and his lovely Stefanie.

  9. The church was so full that we had to sit in the basement and watch the service on TV. The people down there were a bit sheepish on singing the hymns but, not to be deterred on so grand an occasion, Jon's sister Mary-Robin and I sang out. Folks joined in.

  10. The service boldly proclaimed the resurrection in about five ways, which I'll spare you.

  11. Afterwards, spurning the crowded Geno's Steaks, Jon and I found a great cheesesteak and a pot of begonias in a Mexican shop that made me smile.

  12. Biking back, I passed quickly from a Mexican neighborhood to a Vietnamese one to an African American one. That's three continents!
All of these moments are glimpses of the eternal kingdom to come.

The baby and Dr. Caddell and I will sit again at the same table, this time without inadequacies of youth or infirmities of old age, and declare the works of the risen Lord, whom we shall see face to face and with our own eyes. The Kreamer sisters will still walk arm in arm, but now through the city of God, where all nations will dwell together and
They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22:5
I can't wait.

1 comment:

anne-cara said...