Word from the Garden of Resurrection - The Day of Easter

posted on April 05

The Day of Easter                           Sunday, April 17
A Song of Victory When We Get To That Safe Place
Read: Psalm 118 (The Psalm for Easter Sunday 2022)
A Song of Victory
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
    his steadfast love endures forever!
Let Israel say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the Lord say,
    “His steadfast love endures forever.”
Out of my distress I called on the Lord;
    the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place.
With the Lord on my side I do not fear.
    What can mortals do to me?
The Lord is on my side to help me;
    I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to put confidence in mortals.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to put confidence in princes.
10 All nations surrounded me;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
11 They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
12 They surrounded me like bees;
    they blazed[a] like a fire of thorns;
    in the name of the Lord I cut them off!
13 I was pushed hard,[b] so that I was falling,
    but the Lord helped me.
14 The Lord is my strength and my might;
    he has become my salvation.
15 There are glad songs of victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord does valiantly;
16     the right hand of the Lord is exalted;
    the right hand of the Lord does valiantly.”
17 I shall not die, but I shall live,
    and recount the deeds of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me severely,
    but he did not give me over to death.
19 Open to me the gates of righteousness,
    that I may enter through them
    and give thanks to the Lord.
20 This is the gate of the Lord;
    the righteous shall enter through it.
21 I thank you that you have answered me
    and have become my salvation.
22 The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord’s doing;
    it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 This is the day that the Lord has made;
    let us rejoice and be glad in it.[c]
25 Save us, we beseech you, O Lord!
    O Lord, we beseech you, give us success!
26 Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.[d]
    We bless you from the house of the Lord.
27 The Lord is God,
    and he has given us light.
Bind the festal procession with branches,
    up to the horns of the altar.[e]
28 You are my God, and I will give thanks to you;
    you are my God, I will extol you.
29 O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Today’s Word from the Garden of Resurrection: Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me in a broad place. (Psalm 118:5)

Reflection: We read a Psalm of Victory today to celebrate the victory of the Israelites after their weary wilderness wanderings, and most of all to exalt the eternal victory of Jesus Christ through the resurrection. Jesus is here for us, crucified and risen, and as A Modern Affirmation proclaims, he is the “ground of our hope, and the promise of our deliverance from sin and death.” Because of Jesus, we have a firm place to stand in God’s presence. We have been delivered from our own weary wildernesses of sin and death. We have been offered new life, new opportunities, and new rules to live by. Jesus was rejected and put to death, but now he is the very cornerstone whose principles keep our world alive with love. He was tossed aside by the Pharisees, because their passion was for the letter of the Law. Jesus is victorious, and his sacrifice of love has given us the opportunity to live new lives grounded in grace. How will you step away from your Easter worship service today? Can you see yourself as Christ sees you today? Can you see the world as he sees it, instead of the ways you may have once seen it? 
Prayer:  God of the Garden of Resurrection, we thank you for the journey of the past 40 days. Thank you for putting us on the path of the Israelites, as they tried to make both community and peace in their years of hardship. Through Jesus Christ you have brought us forgiveness and fresh eyes. You have brought us victory and a broad place to stand. The tenuous steps of the wilderness path are behind us, and we see you. We are grateful. May we stand with you and for you to help create a grace-filled church and a more just world. Thank you for each soul who has taken this journey with me this season, for each faithful reader and each warm response. All praise to you, O Christ. Amen.

Blessings of Peace and Health,
Rev. Beverly B. Coppley
District Superintendent
& Chief Missional Strategist 

Word from the Garden of Resurrection The Day of Easter