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Students sitting outside Bockman
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Next Day

Awake, my heart, with gladness,
see what today is done;
now, after gloom and sadness,
comes forth the glorious sun.
My Savior there was laid
where our bed must be made
when, as on wings in flight,
we soar to realms of light.

Now hell, its prince, the devil,
of all their pow'r are shorn;
now I am safe from evil,
and sin I laugh to scorn.
For Christ again is free;
in glorious victory
he who is strong to save
has triumphed o'er the grave.

This is a sight that gladdens—
what peace it does impart!
Now nothing ever saddens
the joy within my heart.
No gloom shall ever shake,
no foe shall ever take,
the hope which God's own Son
in love for me has won.

Now I will cling forever,
to Christ, my Savior true;
my Lord will leave me never,
whate'er he passes through.
He rends death's iron chain;
he breaks through sin and pain;
he shatters hell's grim thrall;
I follow him through all.

Christ brings me to the portal
that leads to bliss untold,
whereon this rhyme immortal
is found in script of gold:
"Who there my cross has shared
finds here a crown prepared;
who there with me has died
shall here be glorified."

It was surely the bleakest day of the disciples' lives. They have finally concluded, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God" (Matthew 16:15) and "You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God" (John 6:69). But now it has all come to nothing. Jesus is dead. They huddle together, not only in depression but in fear, but because the authorities might now come after them.

Some of us will attend a vigil service tonight. "Vigil" means "watching and waiting." On that first Saturday the disciples were despondent, because their hopes were dashed. We "wait" because we know that on that first Easter Sunday, Jesus lived again and the forces of death were defeated—also for us.

We know we can say with the hymnist, "Awake, my heart, with gladness" because "after gloom and sadness comes forth the glorious sun."

Lord, help us realize that whatever gloom and sadness is in our lives, that Jesus brings us true and eternal life. Amen.

Michael Rogness
Professor Emeritus of Preaching

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.