4 Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises. 5 Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody. 6 With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the Lord.
You might that think there would have been a lot of noise. A thunderous “BOOM!” from heaven, perhaps. The strains of angelic trumpets. The gasps and shouts of witnesses. You would think that for an event as significant as the resurrection, there would have been a lot of noise.
But really, the moment of the resurrection itself was probably much more quiet than all that. A draw of breath. Eyes blinking open. The rustle of burial shrouds, no longer necessary. The moment, the moment of resurrection, the moment when love and life overcame darkness and death… I’m thinking that moment was quiet. Almost silent. Silent morning, holy morning.
The moment may have been quiet… but I don’t think it stayed that way for long. The tremendous racket of a stone being rolled away from the tomb’s entry. The gasps of the women, the astonished shouts of disciples. The jubilant celebrations in heaven. The proclamations of angels, appearing on earth and sharing the news: “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen” (Luke 24:5, NRSV).
And then… slowly, at first, then faster and faster… the sound of good news being preached. The sound of new believers singing psalms of thanksgiving. A rushing wind… the sound of a new movement, a fledgling church, taking hold and setting the world on fire!
This year, Easter may have felt… well, a little quieter than usual. No grandkids running through the house, searching for Easter eggs. No family gathered around a dinner table, asking someone pass the potatoes. No church family singing praises in the next pew over. Some of that was still happening, of course… but remotely. Out of earshot. A quieter Easter than usual.
That first Easter started off kind of quiet… but all that quiet soon gave way to a whole lot of noise. The news was too good, the joy was too full, the hope was too real to keep quiet. What began with a quiet breath, blinking eyes, and the rustle of burial cloths soon gave way to a commotion that could not be contained.
This Easter may have started off kind of quiet… but it’s my hope that all that quiet will soon give way to a whole lot of noise, too. Not just the noises that we’ll hear when social distancing guidelines are relaxed and we all return to the world… but the noise of Easter people, raising their voices. That’s how the hymn goes, after all:
Easter people, raise your voices,
Sounds of heaven in earth should ring!
“Sounds of heaven in earth should ring.”
What a joyful noise!
So make a joyful noise, friends. Our news is too good, our joy is too full, our hope is too real to keep quiet. In the place of death, Jesus has offered us unending life. In the place of sin, Jesus has offered us unfailing forgiveness. Death and sin have no power over us. That’s the good news of Easter! So how could we possibly keep silent? It’s Easter… time to make some noise.
Remember, you noisy Easter people:
Our God is bigger than coronavirus.
Our vision is bigger than coronavirus, too.
We are people blessing people.
We are Wesley Church.
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