O Sleeper Awake
(Ancient liturgy used by Christians on the eve of Easter—the church’s great celebration of the resurrection.)
“I ORDER YOU, O SLEEPER, to awake!
I did not create you to be held a prisoner in hell.
Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead.
Rise up, work of my hands, you were created in my image.
Rise, let us leave this place, for you are in me and I am in you.
Together we form only one person and we cannot be separated!”
Easter Prayer of St Gregory the Great 540-604 AD link
Dear Lord Jesus Christ, by Your radiant and magnificent resurrection,
You broke the bonds of death and rose from the grave as a conqueror.
You reconciled Heaven and earth.
Our life had no hope of eternal happiness before You redeemed us.
Your resurrection has washed away our sins, restored our innocence, and brought us joy.
How inestimable is the tenderness of Your love!
Prayer of Ambrose of Milan, c 339-397 link
O Lord, who hast mercy upon all, take away from me my sins,
and mercifully kindle in me the fire of thy Holy Spirit.
Take away from me the heart of stone,
and give me a heart of flesh,
a heart to love and adore thee,
a heart to delight in thee,
to follow and to enjoy thee,
for Christ’s sake.
The KYIV Chorus and Orchestra sing “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross” in Ukrainian.
Sing along (and pray ) with our brother and sisters who are experiencing war: death pain, relocation, and separation.
Here are the lyrics in English.
When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.
Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,
I sacrifice them to His blood.
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?
Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.
God of compassion,
you regard the forsaken
and give hope to the crushed in spirit;
hear those who cry to you in distress
and bring your ransomed people to sing your glorious praise,
now and forever.
Here is a treat. This is the entire Ester worship service at Duke University Chapel. If you haven’t seen this place, here is a link. The Rev Dr. Luke Powery is the dean of Duke University Chapel and associate professor of homiletics at Duke Divinity School. Here is a link to learn more about him. He is known to break out to sing spirituals during his sermons. I occasionally attend services at the Chapel and my daughter was married there last year.
If you want to skip directly to the sermon, go to @the 39-minute mark.
Benediction: Rejoice link
The stone is rolled away,
grave clothes neatly folded,
no more the smell of death,
behold the empty tomb!
Halleluia! (He is risen!)
Scripture has been fulfilled,
the sting of death is gone,
the victory has been won,
behold the risen Christ!
Halleluia! (He is risen!)
The curtain’s torn in two,
our God invites us in,
Christ’s sacrifice enough
to wash away our sins!
Halleluia! (He is risen!)
Easter is Awesome
25.30 “Let us now turn to one another to share the peace of Christ.”
Unfortunately, this may be with an active predator in his/her hunting ground, knowing the state of the organized church today. Examples: @HoustonChron, DOJ cases, @RobDownenChron’s Abuse of Faith, @bozlawpa portfolio, @AndersonCause Jeff Anderson & Associates work, etc.
Do the pulpit mandates consider what may be really going on in the pews?
When these mandates occur, it brings to mind the girl/boy in the pew interacting with an adult stranger.
There are no filters here, no gatekeepers, no boundaries.
Because, Jesus? No, because voices are silenced and heads are in the sand. Fact. Predators are well aware.
“I occasionally attend services at the Chapel and my daughter was married there last year.”
Lovely venue for a wedding, Dee! It’s wonderful that the camera pans to the stained glass windows.
This passing of the peace is a ritual as old as the church itself. It is primarily done in liturgical churches such as mine, Anglican, etc. No one has to “pass the peace” and some elect not to do so. There is no pressure. It tends to be a really short handshake and a verbal reminder of the peace of Christ. Since families are together, no child is left unattended. This would not be a good time for a predator to do much of anything except a quick handshake. Anything else would be noted by others.
Maybe I have misunderstood.
Thank you, Dee. All the music and videos were fittingly majestic. Gave me chills.
Praise God for the Empty Tomb!
Thx for your explanation.
I don’t think we really know what the victims of church predators go through in our church-as-normal routines until everyone has their voice heard.
I think about the well-intentioned woman putting her hand on another woman to pray over her without asking and it was hurtful.
Regarding hands: a pastor once quoted Matt. 5.30, saying that hands are power, which a victim knows only too well as these crimes and offenses often begin with hands.
This pastor went to the home of an abused daughter to confront the dad. The dad went for his gun, but the son had the forethought to hide his dad’s gun. So I guess the pastor knew what he was talking about.
Some prominent cultures bow instead of shake hands. Contact-free respect and acknowledgement.
In any case, IMHO, mandates from the pulpit about interactions with strangers in the pew are ill-advised until both pew and pulpit deal with the predators all too prominently in our midst, in churches, that is.
There are those like Hannah who come today with their special requests from our Messiah. Though leaders like the prophet Eli may deem them irresponsible, irreverent, or irrelevant, may God Almighty hear their prayers.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me (Jesus) to give deliverance to the poor.”
May we repent and believe the Good News.
“His winnowing fork is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear out His threshing floor; He will gather His wheat (believers) into His barn (kingdom), but He will burn up the chaff (the unrepentant) in everlasting fire.” Matt. 3.12 & Luke 3.17.