Grrr! Alleluia

Grrr! Alleluia!

In my Manitoba home, singing “Alleluia” has been hard for me this Easter. Usually, nature cooperates with the church calendar by providing some long anticipated hints of green outside. Not this year. With an early Easter and a prolonged winter season, we drove home from church on Easter Sunday in the midst of snow flurries and mounds of snow covering the earth.  A family member missed the Easter gathering because of her partner’s car accident on icy roads. A friend’s mother died. And, and, and. In short, singing “Alleluia” was a discipline this Easter, even as I led worship, rather than a natural response.

I remember the world-wide church, where many are moving toward shorter, colder days. With all of them, we have entered the “Alleluia” season of the church year. Many will have deeper reasons than I to say “Grrr!”

Lent challenges us with the disciplines of fasting and repentance, but the “Alleluia” season also requires a discipline, the discipline of joy. And the discipline can help us live in hope.

So here I am, claiming joy as a discipline, even while my winter-weary body feels like gritting her teeth and saying “Grrr!” How will I claim joy?

  • I will keep the barley I planted in a pot for Easter on my windowsill as a witness to new life.
  • I will play Mozart’s “Ode to Joy” as my song of the season it till it sings inside of me; until it is learned behaviour, blesses me, and helps me bless others.
  • I will remember the confusion and bewilderment of the first witnesses to the resurrection; claim solidarity with them and others who have difficulty singing “Alleluia.”
  • I will let myself say “Grrr!” when I need to, and lean more heavily on God’s Spirit to help my “Alleluias” grow more authentic with practice.
  • I will sit or walk in the sunshine whenever I can, looking for signs of life and love.
  • And… when that snow finally yields to the strong spring rays of the sun, I will sing “Joyful, joyful we adore you… hearts unfurl like flowers before you” as I plant in the garden beyond my windowsill.

How will you claim joy this season? Will the discipline be easy or challenging? Either way, remember with me that Christ has risen. He has risen indeed. Grrr! Alleluia!Image


About Elsie Hannah Ruth Rempel

As a young senior whose life could easily have ended in a nasty car crash in 2012 I live with an extra dose of gratitude to God, humanity, and the wonders of our human bodies. I am a passionate advocate for ministry WITH children and seniors in the life and ministry of the church. I started working in Faith Formation with Mennonite Church Canada in 2002. Thinking and writing about faith helps me see God at work in all kinds of surprising places. I'd like to be remembered as one who encourages others to live into God's good dream for our world. My book, Please Pass the Faith: The Spiritual Art of Grandparenting, is one big way I'm trying to share that encouragement with my peers. This blog is another way I'd like to engage people who care about growing in faith across the generations.
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4 Responses to Grrr! Alleluia

  1. Renate Dueck says:

    I am glad my barley picture with so much hope of new life could be used by you, Elsie!
    I also long for spring and outside planting and watching plants and flowers grow.
    But I was blessed on Sunday when we were outside and my grown up kids and some friends had so much fun in the snow in our backyard. It wasn’t so bad after all! Walking to and from work today was a different story in the cold wind and reading your reflection on our daily “Alleluia” for sure helps to move on. Thank you!

    • Elsie Hannah Ruth Rempel says:

      Thanks so much. It is am amazing picture and looks convincingly like morning dew on grass!

  2. Pingback: A Difficult Week | Faithful HR

  3. Pingback: Grrr! Alleluia | Faithful HR

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