This Is the Day the Lord Has Made – Let Us Be Glad
The words of our Gradual from Psalm 118:24 say, “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
Brothers and sisters, this is the day the Lord has made. This disappointing day. This day, this Easter holiday, without the big family gathering. This is the day the Lord has made.
This day – yet another day – of isolation. This day of being boxed in. This day that drags on, because, “What do we do with our time?” This is the day the Lord has made.
This day – maybe only half-way through the “stay-at-home-order” – this day which dreads so many similar days to come. This is the day the Lord has made for you.
Worst of all – I pray, worst of all – this day of our Lord’s Resurrection in which we are not able to gather as the Lord’s people to celebrate as one. This dreadful day. This is indeed a day that the Lord has made for us. Can I rejoice and be glad in it?
What is going on? Why would God give us this day? Why would God allow this during Holy Week and Easter? And so on…
Is it God’s judgment? Is this God’s discipline? For the sake of a sinner like me, I hope it is.
I won’t point to the world and say, “Because our nation did A, B, and C, now God is judging THEM!” I won’t make those one-to-one connections – “that sin, therefore this judgment.” I certainly will not take pleasure at the thought that others are being judged.
Instead, I will examine myself, and I will rejoice that God pays enough regard to a sinner like me to give me fatherly discipline. I will look at my sins – I have real sins. So do you.
I will rejoice that God judges me a little now so I can remember my sin and remember my Savior, and turn, to avoid that greater judgment to come.
I will rejoice and be glad because, as the Scripture says, “God disciplines every son whom he loves.” The harshest thing God can do is turn His face away from us and let us be. When God sends us trouble, He is paying attention to us and is making all things work for our good.
This hard, isolated Easter is the day the Lord has made for us this year. In some way, in His wisdom, love, and fatherly discipline, this is exactly the day we have needed.
What we still do have is our Resurrected Lord Jesus. That can never be taken away. Jesus is risen.
The hope of the life to come when, by His resurrection, we too shall be raised – this also has not been taken away.
And the newness of life right now – as, by Christ’s resurrection at work through our baptism, we ourselves are even now raised from the dead life of sin to the new life in Christ – this also has not been taken away.
It is still the case that by His death He has conquered the power of death. It is still the case that His death has atoned for all our sin. We are forgiven. It is still the case that He is risen and death no longer has any dominion over Him.
It is still the case, brothers and sisters, that you are baptized. By baptism you are buried with Him in death now. And by baptism you are raised by His resurrection now. [Romans 6]
It is still the case, that by His dying and rising at work in us, we daily cast out from ourselves the old leaven of sin and malice, and daily live the new unleavened life of repentance, sincerity, and truth.
Jesus is risen. He has forgiven. He makes you new. This is still true – fully – every day – it never gets old.
Today is the day of our Lord’s resurrection. Today is the day Peter, John, and Mary Magdalene found the empty tomb. Today is the day the Lord has opened for us the way of everlasting life.
Today is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. Amen. Christ is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed! Alleluia!