Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed.
Book of Common Prayer
The Resurrection of Christ, from the right wing of the Isenheim Altarpiece, c.1512-16 oil / Matthias Grünewald)
Christ has Risen—
Christ has risen indeed!
We are resoundingly reminded of this little fact each Easter…
we are delightfully reminded that our hope remains intact and steadfast.
Growing up—Easter always meant a new pretty dress and shiny black patented leather shoes.
Sunny and bright…radiating light all for the most Holy day in all of Christendom.
Easter Sunday was such a festive and beautiful day despite the early spring weather
There was the deep and resounding pipe organ accompanying the rising crescendo of voices
ringing out that Jesus Christ had (has) risen today…
Jesus Christ is ris’n today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!
(Latin hymn, “Surrexit Christus hodie)
Holy, Holy Holy…
Sacred while full of joy.
Yet sadly, we took it for granted didn’t we?
We just assumed every Easter we’d dress up, go to Church, sing joyfully then
gather with family for a festive lunch and competitive Easter Egg hunts.
This joy came after the lead up of dying eggs, picking flowers, cooking foods we’d
fasted from for the previous 40 days…
We let it become systematic…routine.
We took it for granted.
We didn’t realize it then did we?
We didn’t realize it two years ago.
However, last year gave us a foreboding glimpse to what was to come
and I dare say, the majority of us didn’t see what would be coming.
Not here…not us.
We had a pandemic.
We shut down our world.
We shut down our lives…our jobs, our stores, our movies, our schools and
more importantly, our houses of worship.
But hey, we can do anything for the good of the whole for a few weeks right?
But it wasn’t a few weeks was it?
We are now over a year in…
and two Easters have since come and gone.
So what does any of this mean?
Well Christian participation, that of church worship attendance
in the US, is now for the first time ever, down below 50 percent.
Before I go much further, let me give my full disclosure here—
I do not regularly attend any particular church.
So before you start wagging fingers at me for assuming that I am
some sort of ‘do as I say but not as I do’ sort of individual…
My journey with my Anglican roots has been jolted to the core
over its frenzied and gleeful racing away from God’s word…
all the while it blindly races to embrace the world’s word…
a word that is a lie.
So I am waiting for His lead as to where I need to land.
But until that time, know that I cling to a deep Christian Spirituality.
The mysticism that is our faith.
The Mysticism embedded within a three time span.
A timeline that exists between betrayal, brutality, death, hell
So I caught a blog post about Christian persecution…modern day, 21st century
It was shared by our friend Vincent over on Talmidimblogging
“More than 245 million Christians worldwide are enduring high levels of persecution
for their faith—from militant extremist groups like ISIS and Boko Haram
(an Islamic extremist group terrorizing West Africa),
to government law and the general culture that often sees converting
to Christianity as betrayal.
According to Open Doors’ 2019 World Watch List—an in-depth investigative report focusing
on the global persecution of Christians—persecution is increasing at an alarming rate.
That 245 million number is up this year from last year’s total of 215 million.
The post highlights the top 10 nations from around the world who are trying to
silence Christians and eliminate the faithful and their faith.
The article however got me thinking.
Thinking about what we in the West take for granted.
We take our faith, our ability to go to our places of worship, all for granted.
We witnessed such on this past Easter Sunday both here and in Europe
where various masses and services were interrupted by law enforcement—interrupted
by the police for breaking pandemic protocol.
Where pastors and priests were reprimanded and even arrested for holding services with
their parishioners during a pandemic…
all the while secular events begin to open back up.
Police descending upon our houses of worship all the while rioters and protestors
continue their unchecked mayhem in our major cities—while thousands of immigrants
flood across our borders—the pandemic is allowed to fester due to our oh so woke
liberal minded leadership in what they allow to cross our borders by turning their
They hammer home for everyone to get vaccinated yet they can’t even say that with the vaccine
things will ever get back to what they once were—as in going back to normal.
Control is an interesting thing.
Eating bats is also interesting.
It appears to be problematic— not only for the said consumer, but
apparently for the entire world.
We first saw that little problem with the Ebola outbreak a few years back…
Bats were the culprit then…and supposedly they are the culprit now.
Bats leading to the demise of Christianity in the 21st century?
I suppose stranger things have happened….
But if you are a Believer and you are beginning to wonder how much longer
the powers that be think they can curtail your right to publicly worship
you might want to speak up now…while you still legally have a voice.
Or you can just blame it on the bats and keep quiet.
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:58