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Inspirational Story

"Thine the Story" from Finishing Touches: A Journal of Faith
Kristin Peura

This morning I awoke with a hymn running through my mind. The tune is simple but hauntingly beautiful and it remains one of my most favorite hymns of all that I know:

Thine the amen thine the praise alleluias angels raise
Thine the everlasting head thine the breaking of the bread
Thine the glory thine the story thine the harvest then the cup
Thine the vineyard then the cup is lifted up lifted up.

Heavenly Father, do you plant seeds of ideas in my head even as you planted the very people I needed last year in my life as I turned to you in prayer and as I grappled with cancer and all its ramifications? Is this garden of my life one that you would grow for yourself, cultivating me with your word, watering me with the tears you shed on my behalf as you watch me stumble, helping me grow by bearing me in your compassionate arms as your faithful people reach out to me not only in times of stress and sorrow but in times of joy as well? But it is the story, Lord, the story which you have implanted in my heart that changes me, that gives me hope, in spite of my weaknesses, in spite of my sinful thoughts, in spite of myself.

And the story is so simple! The story is the empty tomb. It is the angels in the heavens who announce in glorious song, the birth of a Savior to a small group of pitiful shepherds who cower in fright as they listen and obey. It is the angels who surely sing in eleven part harmony, a more beautiful and moving "Alleluia" than shall ever be composed or sung by mankind, on the glorious day of Resurrection, at the mouth of the empty tomb. It is the breaking of the bread of heaven, the body of Christ, in which our sinful nature is bought with a price so dear. It is the glory of the harvest, the filling of the cup of life with salvation, the holding of this cup for all to see, the raising it up in obedience and trust and the drinking of it to the bottom by the one who, for all time, came to drink the bitter dregs which are in our cups, too. It is a cross, a simple wooden cross that would drain the life from any man who hung from it, but could not contain the death of Jesus Christ. And this cross, hanging on history's time line like a diamond in the rough, has been worshiped and scorned, glorified and despised, deified, defied and defiled, loved and hated more than any object in the history of mankind. But it exists still. It can not be ignored. It compels us to belief. It is mocked by an empty tomb. It tells the story - Death is no more!

It is any wonder that we call Jesus "Savior?" The wonder is only, with so much of the pompous religiosity which we have developed since the story began, that we have not altered the story so much that the saving grace of God becomes unrecognizable. But grace is here and it has ever been so.

Thine the glory in the night no more dying only light
Thine the river thine the tree then the Lamb eternally
Then the holy holy holy celebration jubilee
Thine the splendor thine the brightness only thee only thee.

Can we, at our ending, ever ask for more than this, to be welcomed home from our journey into the light of the Living God in a holy, mystical jubilation of celebration? Joy. Joy beyond our knowing. Joy beyond our expectation. Joy beyond our hope. Joy in the story. Joy in the "Amen!"