I was raised in a church where, after our pastor read from Scripture, he would close the Bible and say, “The Word of the Lord” – then, our congregation would respond in unison with, “Thanks be to God!”
I love it when the whole church unites in one voice during a Sunday service. And this Easter Sunday, I can’t wait for the rousing call from the pulpit when Pastor will announce, “HE IS RISEN!” Then, most of the congregation will reply, “He is risen indeed!”
Sometimes, with the normal shuffle of people finding their seats, the response won’t be quite as it should be, and so again: “He is risen!” This second time, everyone’s a little more focused in offering a resounding, “He is risen indeed!”
But my heart exults when this ancient tradition happens a third time. Biblical things often happen in threes, and that third cheer is always a shout; a united, rousing proclamation of the very foundation of our faith. Jesus lives. Hallelujah!
I don’t know what today looks like for you, but chances are you have plenty of distractions. If the joy and wonder of the Resurrection is getting lost in the day’s shuffling, take a cue from Psalm 103 and command your soul to bless the Lord… and do so by cheering with all your heart, “He is risen! He is risen indeed!”