I am Grateful

As I sat today in our joint worship service at the Korean Presbyterian Church I attend, watching the youth execute a praise dance, listening to the adult choir cantata, hearing and seeing the confirmation of kids from the youth group, singing in broken Korean the words to the familiar song, “Because He Lives,” and partaking in communion, I found myself at points holding back tears.  These were tears, not of sorrow, nor loss, nor sighing, but were rather tears of joy and gratitude.

I was not especially struck by the beauty of the singing (though it was beautiful), nor was I impressed by the testimony of the young girl who talked about her conversion (though it was compelling), and certainly not by the baby who screamed and cried throughout her baptism.  No, I was rather struck with a profound sense of gratitude for the overwhelming grace of God. Here I sat literally with believers from the other side of the world, and figuratively with believers from around the world and down through history proclaiming again that Christ has Risen!

On Thursday night, my elder brother preached at my father’s church for Maundy Thursday service.  I almost always enjoy his preaching, but as my sister said today, the way he preaches about Christ’s death just simply shocks and moves you at the same time.  As he talked about the bloody Christ, the suffering servant, I thought about how undeserving is the life I have.  And this morning as I took the bread and the cup, I felt again deeply grateful.

“Resurrection Sunday is my favorite holiday,” I told my sister.  And it is.  It of all days, is THE day of grace.

“My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought, my sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear them no more.  Praise the Lord Praise the Lord, Oh my soul!!”

“Oh Praise the One who paid my debt and raised this life up from the dead.”

“God sent His son. They called him Jesus. He came to love, heal, and forgive.  He lived and died to buy my pardon. An empty grave is there to prove my Saviour lives.  Because He lives, I can face tomorrow.  Because He lives, all fear is gone.  Because I know He holds the future, and life is worth the living just because He lives.”

Christ has Died!

Christ has Risen!

Christ will Come Again!