Monday, 25 April 2011

How marvellous, how wonderful

I haven't really got the words to say what I want to say today on this Easter Sunday, 2011.  Here's where I just find I want to give you what's in my head and what's in my heart; I am so overwhelmed by what you did those two thousand years ago.  All that you went through isn't the end of the story and that's why I am so blessed. You rose from the dead. 


In the end there was nothing that could beat you; nothing, even the hatred and wickedness and filth of mankind, the evil power of Satan and hell and the darkness and emptiness of death could triumph over you, because you are God, and you had a Plan, and you did it.  You said you would and you did.  You knew what it would take to save your people; you knew what it would take to make us free. You did it for me. I wasn't born for centuries and yet you knew that when I came along, me, I would need you in the same way that the lost people at the foot of your cross needed you.


I stand amazed in the presence
Of Jesus the Nazarene,
And wonder how He could love me,
A sinner, condemned, unclean.

How marvellous!  How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful!
Is my Saviour's love for me!


So after the muted, inward and upward-looking weeks of Lent, and the dreadful appreciation of what happened on Good Friday, then the uncertain pause of the Easter Saturday comes the colour and jubilation and joy and celebration of Easter.  You rose from the dead!  You died and were buried and then you came back to life!  There can be nothing more amazing than that. 

He took my sins and my sorrows,
He made them His very own;
He bore the burden to Calvary,
And suffered and died alone.


He rolled the stone away
And yet I find that as I'm talking to you now I don't feel lighthearted or jubilant or enthusiastically happy; I don't feel like skipping and jumping about.  I don't feel full of exclamation marks. I'm still back where I was on Friday when I was struck with an appreciation of what it's all about, this Easter thing.  I got a glimpse of the magnitude of it. The hugeness of what you did.  The enormity of my need and the vastness of your love and forgiveness.  The horror of Good Friday and the confusion and fear that the disciples must have felt.  So when it comes to Sunday, the day you rose from the grave, I find I'm not filled with an urge to jump and sing, rather to stay on my knees, overwhelmed with gratitude and awe.


I want to praise you forever.  I want to give you back a tiny, faulty, human fractional measure of the love that you deserve - the love that you showed me at that first Easter.  At times like this the idea that there is one day an eternity to be spent at the foot of your throne singing songs and hymns in perpetual worship and basking in the light that surrounds you sounds to me like Heaven indeed.  

When with the ransomed in glory
His face I at last shall see,
’Twill be my joy through the ages
To sing of His love for me.


And I will sing. I am on such a journey this year. I still don't know where I'm going but I know now that I wouldn't stop this for the world. I want to go where you'll take me next, and I say that in full knowledge that I might not like it and I might be back here in a day or a week or a month saying stop this, let me get off; but you have blessed me so much recently that I want to want more.  


I want to be more open handed, waiting to receive all that you want to give me, so that I don't miss anything that you had planned because I was turned the other way and didn't notice it, or because my hands were too full of something inconsequential to grasp your gift fully.  


I want my eyes to be more fully open; I don't want to miss anything that you want to show me because I was asleep or looking in the wrong direction. I want to notice, to really see, not the general but the detail.  The minutiae, the fine brush strokes. As much of the picture as you want me to see. I want it to be like one of those strange abstract patterns that were all the rage a few years ago where you look at a picture that seems to be of nothing but suddenly you see what is hidden and when it's properly in focus, only then can you move your eyes around and explore what is a hidden world.


I want my heart to be open to anything you want to plant in it. Please sow seeds and water them and shine on them so that I can grow into something of use to you. I don't want to hold grudges and hang onto bad memories or let things fester, un-dealt with. Show me how to let you into the darkest corners of me.


I want my mind to be completely open to new ideas or to your clarification of old ones.  I want you to teach me, fill my head with the things that you would have me think about. I want you to show me the things that I need to deal with, to get rid of, to let go of. And I need your help as well because I know that these things won't be easy. 


I want my ears to be tuned into your frequency and not listening to the static that surrounds me all the time.  I want to learn to listen, to hear you. To understand and note and reflect on it. I want to shut up long enough for you to get a word in. 


I imagine you want that too, Lord? 


Well, that's my little reflection on Easter.  Not very Eastery I suppose.  I haven't said Alleluia at all yet. But here's my offering and it comes from the heart.


How marvellous!  How wonderful!
And my song shall ever be:
How marvellous! How wonderful!
Is my Saviour's love for me!



It is marvellous and it is wonderful.  Thankyou Lord. 


Alleluia. He is risen. 



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