For forty days my soul has longed for a fresh new Alleluia!
In our local church, we refrain from any “Alleluia” during Lent. It simply doesn’t fit the occasion. Lent is a time of repentance, reflection, and preparation for Holy Week, and ultimately for the pinnacle of our faith: Resurrection Sunday.
Eastertide evokes our soul’s response of “Alleluia” as we ponder anew the significance of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. It’s true. He has risen indeed. The whole world celebrates, rejoices, and gives thanks in loving unity once more.
Jesus’ years of earthly ministry are replete with reasons to shout “Alleluia” – from the profundity of his teaching, to his gentle touch of healing, his generous seeds of forgiveness and grace, his questions to skeptics, his knowledge of the sinfulness of the hearts of those who crowded around him. He was in continual conflict with the religious leaders, who were threatened by his tender power of love. He spoke in parables so the people could understand. He entered homes and hearts of countless individuals who were seeking new life. His was a life of perpetual service and eternal life to all who would receive.
For what about Jesus are you most grateful today? What does his resurrection offer you today? Perhaps you are thankful for his forgiveness, grace, and mercy. Or, you are filled with hope because of his promises of new life. Or, you are in relationships with others because of his example of compassion. Since it’s impossible to count up our many blessings, simply list a handful that mean the most to you today. Yes, today, not yesterday or tomorrow. Start with today, your present moment where his presence can be found through your eyes, ears, and heart of faith.
Today: let’s give ourselves full permission to shout a fresh new Alleluia!