He is Risen!

Galations 2:20
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

it's been a long time since i have cried. 
to be honest, i can think of only two instances in the past year.
the world has a way of hardening the softest hearts,
bringing malice from admiration, depression from peace.
and it's not that i am a hard hearted person, but sometimes
it takes the sharpest swords to pierce the strongest armor. 
i am reminded of Hebrews 4:12: "The Word of God
is living and active, sharper than any double-edged sword,
it penetrates, even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow."
the Word of the Lord is living and active, and I am reminded
He is Risen!
this morning, i cried for a third time.
 after i got up this morning, i watched the Mars Hill easter service 
with Mark Driscoll in Seattle. he presented the gospel, as was expected 
in a relevant and powerful way, proclaiming the Resurrected Christ,
but following was a call to repentance, which was fairly unique.
the call asked people to not only come forward and accept His grace
but to be baptized on stage as a symbol of a changed heart,
and a renewal of thoughts, lifestyles, actions, and deeds. 
admist intense worship, people came down to the stage,
and one by one were prayed over and dunked in and out of the water
in the clothes they came to the service wearing
as a symbol of a passing of their old self, cleansed. new.

i watched 
a pregnant, abandoned woman calling on the name of the Lord.
men and women, some my age, some older, boldly declaring faith.
a young girl weeping as she was brought under the water, 
laughing with joy when she arose.
a husband and wife, spiritually cleansed before hundreds of people.
a father, placing his daughter in the bath, and pulling her out
and capturing her in a loving embrace
as the worship band sang Gloria! Gloria! Gloria! Gloria!
i witnessed redemption, raw and pure
i witnessed unbridled emotion, tears and laughter
i witnessed the children of God coming home to their Father
i witnessed, from 3,000 miles away, grace
and i cried.

Easter has been a long time coming
surviving the trials of Lent
desiring the grace and redemption of God to feel renewed in me again.
we are often habitual, dirty, lonely people, who infinitely need the Lord
for repentance is not what we can do to gain God's favor.
repentance is realizing what God has already done, and to trust.
and i need to learn to trust God with all of me.

i long for God's intent
the rejoicing of my spirit
the joining of soul and body
at the culmination of the age

but until then, He is Risen!
sin is conquered, we forgiven
born again in living hope 
to celebrate this easter day


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