John 16:33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world."

Joy in the morning!

Just to share, Terri and I were in Charlotte for Easter weekend years ago where I was delighted to find a 6:30 AM sunrise worship fairly close by. It was a gloriously beautiful morning weather-wise under the outdoor gazebo at the church, Providence Baptist on Randolph Road. Enthusiastic about the sunrise start time, I thought, Easter morning, surely Gloria Deo will be reflected.

There may have been 60 in attendance. That seemed meager given the enormous footprint of their imposing brick complex. We were a tad conspicuous in our shorts and t-shirts; one person directed a “good morning” our way but held back eye-contact, smile, and extension-of-hand.

The pastor’s homily turned on the difference in John’s gospel from the others regarding the disposition of the stone at the Lord’s tomb—suggesting it had been “taken away” as opposed to rolled out of the way. I don’t recall him using the word sin as he drew a parallel to how our burdens had been removed.

Having been trained that it’s not altogether what you say—but, how you say it, I was further disappointed that our messenger was noticeably less than “bright-eyed and bushy-tailed” and, sadly, evinced no JOY. Spare me the back-flips, but some heart-felt zest on the face of one proclaiming the greatest fait accompli of all time, please!

Nevertheless, the sun rose and HE is RISEN. My chains are gone! Amazing Grace!


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