The Book of Psalms ends with a ringing Hallelujah. Thirteen times the psalmist cries out in praise. This is not a praise that ignores lament; the psalmist knows that our lives of faith contain times both of lament and praise. However, as sure as the sorrow of Good Friday has become the Hallelujah of Easter, so will our laments become praise.
Many of you bring Good Friday with you into Easter. Jesus did not take death away by dying and being raised. By his resurrection he defeated death so that it is not the last word, so that death is not the ultimate power in your life. Today we might be looking at the empty tomb but what we see is that Christ's word is true. At the empty tomb our laments can be turned into praise by the one who defeated death for us. To which we say, praise him!
Jesus, you are the first word that claims us as your own by name in our baptisms. We praise you for going through death on the cross so that you will be the last word who, even at our death, will bring us home to you. Amen.
Psalm 150 (NRSV)
1 Praise the Lord! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty firmament!
2 Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his surpassing greatness!
3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!