Posted by: morgan1965 | April 28, 2011

Easter’s Tide of Abundant Joy

During Holy Week as I participated in a Maundy Thursday Service, I thought about the joy of Easter. The scriptures, prayers, hymns and anthems, and the sermon helped me to recount the events of Holy Week. Then Easter Sunday came and we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus, the joy of our salvation.

As I ponder my experience of last week’s events, I am compelled to give thanks to God for God’s goodness and mercy granted to me. God gave us God’s most precious gift, God’s son. God’s son gifted us with his life and salvation. What an awesome gift we have; the opportunity to live life daily in Christ Jesus.

In the wake of Easter’s tide of abundant joy, have you stopped to ponder the reality of what God has done for you? I am prone to forget what God has done in my life at times; so, it is helpful to be reminded by pausing during Eastertide to think about it.

There is a gospel song, “Oh, What He’s Done for Me” that helps me to place in proper perspective one’s gratitude toward God. It is simply a matter of what God has done for me and you. So, “I never shall forget what He’s done for me.”

“He took my feet out the miry clay, that’s what He’s done for me.
He feeds me when I’m hungry, that’s what He’s done for me.
He picked me up and turned me around, that’s what He’s done for me.
He gave me a home in glory, that’s what He’s done for me.”

In light of these blessings, therefore, “I never shall forget what He’s done for me.”

In this Eastertide, I am reminded of three biblical characters who recognized God’s blessings in their life. First, I remember Mary Magdalene who told the disciples after the resurrection, “I have seen the Lord” [Matthew 20:18]. Her relationship was now complete, because she was able to recognize the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ and all that he meant in her life.

Second, the words of Paul affirm the resurrection of Christ with thanksgiving. Paul said: “For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain.” [I Corinthians 15:9, 10]. Paul here expresses his gratitude for God’s grace which is sufficient.

Another biblical character who was unnamed is the crippled beggar whom Peter healed. After the man was healed, he jumped up; “he stood and began to walk, and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God. All the people saw him walking and praising God” [Acts 3:8, 9]. The crippled man’s expression of gratitude was immediate.

At the end of his life, it was reported that John Wesley, the father of Methodism, said, the “best of all is, God is with us.” This statement is an affirmation of life and death. It is recognition of God’s presence and the quality of life that abounds when God is with us.

Meister Eckhart admonishes us not to forget what God has done for us in his cogent statement: “If the only prayer you ever say in your whole life is ‘thank you’, that would suffice.” During Jesus’ ministry, he healed ten lepers on one occasion. Only one of the ten had the presence of mind to return to Jesus and say, thank you.

In this Eastertide, I want to thank God for what God has done for me. I thank God –
– for the gift of Jesus Christ
– for the gift of loving parents and a caring family
– for an accepting church family over the years
– for a loving wife and children
– for the United Methodist Church and its ministries
– for God’s loving care

Yes, friends, I will never forget all that God has done for me and continues to do for me. How about you?

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