Verses for The Great Fifty Days
Day 24 in Easter
For you shall go out in joy,
….and be led back in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song,
….and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.
I have heard pines whispering. And leaves rustling in the fall. I have experienced the flutter of Aspens in still mountain meadows. But though Julie Andrews may sing that “the hills are alive with the sound of music,” such is not quite what our prophet/poet has in mind.
I understand the majestic witness of the mountains to the glory of God, the soft golden hills of California, the lyrical beauty of the Smokies. But this is a crowd cheering its conquering heroes who come home with the national championship. This is the spontaneous joy that breaks into the team’s anthem as they parade through the city. This is not the creation giving silent witness to the majesties of its creator, but the natural world erupting in joy at mercy shown to exiles, at freedom given to captives, at the stone rolled away and the crucified one released from the bonds of death. This is the joy of the natural world when grace pours out upon the world and the peace of God reigns.
Instead of a creation “groaning in travail”, laboring in a broken world beneath the heavy hand of a shortsighted and self-absorbed humanity, God opens the path where all creation sings with joy at our redemption.
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Photo: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Riis_Skov_(maj)_04.JPG By RhinoMind [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, from Wikimedia Commons