By Request, ‘Rise Again’

Requested by Erlene–Rise Again, by Dallas Holm.

This year so far has gotten to me, I stand in need of prayer. I hardly know what to say about it. I always thought “Sing louder” was excellent advice–but lately I can’t do it.

8 comments on “By Request, ‘Rise Again’

  1. Prayer is the only true remedy, gift or comfort we can give, and the ONE who listens knows exactly what we need, even when we do not know. Prayers will keep going on your behalf. It has been and still is that kind of time for many I know. People are suffering at this time more than at any time I am aware of.
    This encouraging song should be a blessing.

  2. “Sing louder” is one way of standing fast. Here’s another, maybe an even better one in times of distress and exhaustion: “Be still and know that I am Lord.”

    One of my religion students once asked me why even when he prayed and prayed things kept getting worse and worse. I gave him the usual responses about God’s plans being different from ours, and about offering suffering as a prayer, but even I knew there was something more. Then, a few days later, I saw the answer as I was making the Stations of the Cross. (Note for Protestants: The Stations of the Cross are 14 different depictions of stages in Christ’s passion and death, from his being condemned to his being placed in the tomb. They’re placed around the circumference of the church or other prayer site, and we walk through all 14, stopping at each one for a prayer and brief meditation.) Here’s what I noticed:

    The 3d, 6th, and 9th stations depict Jesus falling under the weight of the cross and his pain. In our church, the 3d station shows him dropped to one knee with one hand on the ground. The 6th shows him on his hands and knees. And the 9th shows him completely collapsed, on his back, with only Simon of Cyrene left holding the cross up. And I thought: Yes, this is the answer. “It gets worse and worse” IS the answer. It got worse and worse for Jesus, too. And this third fall isn’t even the worst; we still have the 10th station (Jesus is stripped of his garments), the 11th (Jesus is nailed to the cross), and the 12th (Jesus dies on the cross). And it would have been so easy after this third fall just to lie there and let the Roman soldiers beat him to death or drag him the rest of the way, but he still got up and kept going, even knowing that it was going to get worse. Because that was the Father’s will, and following the Fathers’ will is the salvation of the world.

    The true beauty of the Stations is that they end with the burial of Jesus (14th station). No resurrection, no glory, just to all appearances the end, and to worldly eyes, failure. Think what the disciples must have thought all through Good Friday evening and Holy Saturday, when Jesus was apparently gone, dead and NOT rising as he said he would. Was it all a mistake? Is there no salvation after all? No end to pain? We’re left there with the mourners, not given the happy ending … yet. But unlike those disciples, we know the end of the story. It doesn’t end with the third fall, or the death on the cross or the burial. But we keep going, knowing that … it gets worse and worse. And because of the worse and worse we’ll one day share in the best. Meanwhile … it gets worse and worse. Just as it did for Jesus.

    Pardon me. I didn’t mean to write a sermon.

    1. Sorry, the second fall is at the 7th station, not the 6th. I don’t know why I kept typing 6 rather than 7. Probably because my fingers felt that 3-6-9 was more symmetrical on the keyboard than 3-7-9. 🙄

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