Today’s Scrip-Bit 4 April 2021 Luke 24:5b

Luke 24:5b.     Why seek ye the living among the dead?
HAPPY  EASTER!

At last friends, that marvelous day of celebration which we’ve waited so long for, well it’s finally here! We’re talking about Resurrection Day! All praise and glory to our omnipotent and ever-LOVING God! Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has risen from the dead this Easter morn! Glory be! He has conquered the evil Satan, and taken away from him, the keys to hell, death and the grave! Christ is now Master of all He surveys! Glory Hallelujah! The seed planted in His death on Good Friday has borne fruit this Easter Sunday! 

Consequently, these words from the Simple Series musical ‘Mercy Tree,’ featured on the album inspired by the message and mission of Billy Graham’s ‘My Hope,’ are ever so appropriate for us today to hear, read, understand and digest. So please listen up. ‘We have gathered here today to lift up the name of Jesus. We rejoice in His victory over sin and the cross. Our cries of ‘Hosanna! Save us now!’ have been answered. Our Redeemer has conquered death! And because we are certain of that fact, we have reason to celebrate!’ 

Oh my people, do we ever have reason to celebrate and lift up the name of Jesus. So let’s begin doing that by singing this most celebratory and true hymn, written by one of our foremost hymnologists, Charles Wesley (1707-1788) The hymn is titled ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today.’ And it has been considered by many Christian hymnologists as being the most definitive church anthem for Easter. Each verse features a focus on the Resurrection of Jesus. Wow! 

So enough talk, let’s sing! In an up-tempo beat, with trumps and cymbals, harps and psalteries in full voice, let’s raise our sacrifices of praise in sweet harmony to high heaven, with sincere thanks and gratitude pouring out of our hearts, minds, bodies and souls! ‘Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! 

Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia! LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! 

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Oh friends, what awesome bliss this Easter morning has provided to us faithful believers in Christ Jesus. For as Bruh Paul preached to the Athenians on Mars Hill: ‘For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring (his children). (Acts 17:28) And isn’t that indeed the gospel truth my fellow saints in Christ!  He is our very lifeblood, without Him, we are nothing! With Him, we are everything! We lack for nothing! 

And our celebration wouldn’t be complete without some powerful words from the Good Book. Hear Luke tell the Resurrection Story. ‘Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they (a group of women) came unto the sepulchre (tomb), bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout (about this), behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: 

And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they (the men) said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying, The Son of man must be delivered up into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words, And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.’ (Luke 24:1-11) 

Yes friends, it was difficult for Jesus followers to believe His resurrection, having seen His cruel demise three days earlier, even despite their remembering His words on the subject. They weren’t gullible religionists, but tough, skeptical, hardworking, down to earth folk, who did not find it easy to believe the rather implausible situation. But they eventually did believe when Jesus showed Himself to them, and consequently we too believe, though we haven’t seen Him in the flesh. But here is some interesting info from the scholars, re the Resurrection of Christ, that we all should certainly be aware of. 

‘The Resurrection of Christ included five accomplishments. (1) the physical renewing of His life; (2) the reunion of His body and His Spirit; (3) the subjugation of death under Him; (4) the attainment of His new position; and (5) His receiving of a transfigured body. Application: Because of the Resurrection, the Christian receives both eternal life (John 11:25) and spiritual power (Eph. 1:19-20). Christ’s resurrection also provides for the future resurrection of the believer (1 Cor. 15:20) and is the key to victory in the Christian life because of our union with Christ (Eph 2:6). (First Ref. Ps. 16:10; Primary Ref, 1 Cor. 15; cf. Acts 1:9).’ 

Oh precious people, without the resurrection of Jesus, our faith would be worthless! Let’s remember that nuh, and hold on to it with our very last breath, for it’s our golden key to heaven’s eternal sanctuary! And we’re going to end with these marvellous and ever so encouraging words from the website hymnary.org on our hymn today, and the whole resurrection business. (smile) ‘In every worship service, the words we say and the actions we participate in are somehow shaping us. 

Perhaps without even being aware of it, worship is doing something to us – it’s forming habits and language inside of us to both teach us why we are in relationship with God, and how to be in relationship with God. One practice that many liturgists and hymn authors have brought into worship is describing an event that happened in the past (usually a moment from the Gospel story) as if it were happening today, in order to instill in us the understanding that, just as God worked in the lives of people two thousand years ago, He is still working today. 

The hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is a perfect example of this. Right in the title is an indicator of the present tense: the word “is.” As we sing this song, we are first brought back two millennia as “witnesses” of the resurrection, and then we are also made aware that though the actual event of the resurrection happened once, it is in a sense an on-going event with ever-present effects. We are called today to live out of the resurrection, to follow our risen Lord in newness of life, and to ever lift our “alleluias” in praise.’ 

So mih bredrin, as we joyfully celebrate Christ’s resurrection, let’s take that wonderful advice and go out today, and every day hence, sincerely following Christ and keeping our voices lifted up to Him, in much deserved praise. That’s our bounden duty as Christians! Much LOVE!

…because He lives…we too shall live…  

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Today’s Scrip-Bit 1 February 2015 Psalm 138:7

Psalm 138:7.    Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.
Oh Friends, it’s February 1st, and another beautiful day in Paradise! The sun’s shining, the birds are singing, as the leaves flutter in the cool breeze and the calm sea laps against the shore! And it’s the Lord’s Day to boot; the Sabbath, the first day of the week!

That means gathering together, fellowship, worship, praise, thanksgiving, and sincere acknowledgement of God’s majesty! Or as the song on the radio’s saying, ‘Lift up the name of Jesus!’

Sadly though, the ole fella’s still somewhat under the weather. The coughing has subsided, but my chest is still tight. Chuh Steups! I need both of them, because I’m tired with it! Can’t tell when last I’ve had this asthma stuff so badly and so long nuh.  I can’t even handle the heat down here.

Yesterday it was a bit rough going out in the day. Couldn’t stay out for too long, had to hurry back to my cool air conditioned quarters. I have to laugh yes, because up north all I could talk about was salt water and sunshine, and now that I’m here, I can’t handle the sunshine and I haven’t had much salt water either. Hn, hn, hn!

So I’m disappointed, but not worried. The Lord’s agenda is obviously different to mine. But I know He will come through for me eventually. I’m also disappointed that I didn’t get up in time to go to church this morning. I’ll have to find something on the television for me to hear the Word.

And they are playing a song on the radio about what Grandma use to say. And I’m hearing some sweet ole time sayings, amongst them, my favourite, ‘crapaud smoke yuh pipe; and when yuh prayer, move yuh feet; long rope for magre goat; short rope for the fat goat.’ Only in T&T! I also woke up with my back aching after … well I did sleep for a good while last night, so that’s understandable.

Re adventures: Nothing much happened yesterday. After I finished writing the Bit yesterday, I went out to pick up the duchess from the hotel where she had gone to have breakfast. But as I got out to the car, she appeared out of a taxi. She couldn’t wait on me any longer. What’s new eh! (smile) But thankfully there was no disagreement over my tardiness.

We went to the mall, still no sim cards in one place, and the other one was closed. So we’re really incommunicado by phone, because the land line isn’t working either. Apparently when they built the compound they laid the cables for phones and TV in the ground, and since it’s right by the sea, it seems the cables get wet and cause reception problems.

But yuh know I’m not bothered by the incommunicado problem nuh, because I can’t do much talking or laughing anyway. But I truly am tired of not only feeling, but also hearing the so and so wheezing in my chest! But them’s the breaks! As I keep preaching, I just have to grin and bear it.

We went down to Stumpy’s Emporium, sort of department store, where I bought some clothes hangers, then we bought some fruits from a roadside fruit stand and made a short stop at a friend’s bar on the main road, only to say hello, because the heat was killing me.

Somehow the talk of souse and black pudding came up, and she told me that a lady came out every Saturday evening with those mouth-watering delicacies at a place near to me. So after an early supper on the deck, we headed out for Kats, only to find that they had stopped selling there.

I was directed to another place, a Pennysaver’s Supermarket in Carnbee. So we went through the back roads and got there to hear that the pudding and souse show was on Friday’s not Saturday. However they came out at another Pennysaver down in Canaan, closer to me. So we headed down there.

Now that seemed to be a factual thing, because I found a customary fellow waiting for them too. We waited for about an hour, while the duchess went walking through the stores in the mall, and he told me about the rampant corruption devouring the country. It’s really a sad story.

Oh, and I just heard on the news about a woman in Trinidad setting her ex on fire when he came to her house where she was with another man. Ah Lord eh!

The long and short is that I didn’t get the much anticipated souse and pudding. Steups! Apparently the woman who made the stuff was sick. And that’s been the only food I truly felt for since I’ve been here. It reminded me of my youth, living up Main Street, where every Saturday evening, before we went to the cinema, we waited for this lady to come down the hill with the succulent souse and black pudding.

Anyway, we came home and I ate ice cream and cake and watched the Leafs lose to Philly. Their fourth shutout in five games. After being one of the highest scoring clubs, the goals have dried up under this new coach’s defensive system. And it’s not like they aren’t getting chances, but they’re either missing the net or running in to hot goal-tending.

And that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it! (smile) Just like I’m sticking to our Bit: ‘Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me.’  

Words of indisputable truth my people! And all of us who have walked with Jesus for some time will be able to testify to that! For our God has promised to be with us wherever we are. He will never forsake or leave us. (Heb.13:5)

And nowhere has it been stated as succinctly and sweetly as in Psalm 23; the comforting and encouraging words of Bruh David. ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me, thy rod and staff they comfort me.’ (Ps.23:4) Godly words to stand strong on my brethren! And in these trying times we need stuff that we can hold on strong to.

And we’ll end with these mighty words of the sons of Korah, from Psalm 44- Former deliverances and present troubles. ‘Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob. Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread (trample) them under that rise up against us.

For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me. But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us. In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah. (Ps.44:4-8).

Yes Friends, our magnificent and faithful God has saved us before, and He will do so again. So there is need to worry or doubt His abilities and his faithfulness. Let’s stand strong and boast in His name all day long! That’s the zenith of wisdom! Much LOVE!

…Jesus did not die…so that we could live worried and afraid…but confident and powerful…with steadfast trust in His LOVING-kindness.

P.S. Going to find the Word on the tube, then later go up by Magdalena for their Sunday Brunch, and possibly watch the Super Bowl in the evening. That’s good enough for me, as the day might be hot again. Look at me running from hot sun eh! (smile) Much LOVE!