Holy Land – Day 8

  • By Dr. Don Martin
  • Senior Pastor
  • April 3, 2015
You never know when God will show up and stir your heart.  The Lord is full of surprises and the unexpected is his favorite card to play with Easter being the ace of spades. Last Thursday morning at the Garden tomb, just outside the walls of old Jerusalem, was such a moment for me. This place is a wonderful representation of the garden and tomb where Jesus was hastily buried by Joseph of Arimathea. We went there to see and think and ponder and to share in the Lord's Supper. Our guide stood in front of the tomb and was explaining the details of resurrection to us. I honestly never heard much of what he said because something far more wonderful was happening twenty yards away and slightly above us. A group of about 100 people from Nigeria were worshiping God. I listened as their pastor preached the Easter message in his African dialect of English. He was happy and full of passion in tone and demeanor. Amens were offered in frequent number. Then it started. Singing! Movement and singing and clapping of a hundred people with the voice of one. No instruments other than the glad voices of God's children, "This is the day that the Lord has made..." and other hymns familiar to my ear and heart filled the air.  Bread and wine were brought forward and they began to share in communion. So, I broke out of my shy shell and joined the church from Nigeria in the sacred meal and moment. It was wonderful. I cried and laughed and kissed the hand of the minister. The surprising 10 minutes reminded me that the church is larger than nation and culture and language and is at her best when lifting her voice in praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God.  The world, I think, is bored to death with the many explanations and doctrines which are snapshots of a reality that refuses to be captured or controlled. What the world needs, I think, are people who will throw their heads back and let their guard down as we celebrate the surprising and unexpected victory God won in Jesus Christ our Risen Lord. Such jubilation destroys fear at its root killing death graveyard dead. So, get your heart ready to celebrate and bring our vocal chords even if you can't carry a tune in a bucket. The Lord God Almighty has triumphed over the grave and ain't nothing left for us to do but sing.