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Summary: The cry goes out - He is Risen - will we realize what joy this brings... to God?

Concordia Lutheran Church

Easter Sunday, August 4, 2010

Hava Nagilah

Isaiah 65: 17-25


May the grace, the incredible love and mercy of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ bring you great rejoicing and peace this day, as we begin to grasp that we, united with His death and the hope of the resurrection are a new creations. AMEN!

Something to look at

Isaiah 65:18-19

17 “For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind. 18 But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness

Be glad and rejoice! Christ Is Risen!

Rejoice! An incredible word!

Rejoice: to focus and express the joy at a level that is at a level where words are not enough. We will see something close to it, as we watch 30,000 people cheer and go crazy as 15 young men toss a round level ball more times than 15 other guys through a metal hoop 10 feet above the ground Monday night. You see it in a father’s face, as their precious child transforms into a man, and chooses wisely his bride. Interesting thought, for we aren’t witnesses to a wedding this day…at least not that we are yet aware of.

In Hebrew, actually I think, no, I would bet that many of you are familiar with the word for rejoice in Hebrew. Anyone want to take me up on the bet? That let’s say at least 25 of you have used the word for “rejoice” not just said it, but sung it, and invited others to use it too?

No one want to take the bet? You really expect that 25 people in this room know how to say “Let’s rejoice” in Hebrew? Or have you gotten used to me enough… to know that I don’t make bets I cannot win?

Let us rejoice, in Hebrew…. (Chris to start picking the tune…slowly)

“Hava Negilah, Hava, negilah hava negilah vay nis may cha”

The word gilah, like so many words in the Hebrew language, is a picture, more than a concept. Gilah means to dance with joy in a circle, and the concept includes singing. The modern song actually comes from the celebration of a modern battle during World War II Palestine, where jewish people were saved despite horrible odds against them.

Even more then appropriate is it, as an invitation to rejoice and celebrate our greatest victory, the victory that is symbolized by the empty cross, and the empty grave.

Hava Negilah! Let us Rejoice!!!!

I don’t know when or how the church decided that in view of God’s work, that we needed to be highly dignified in order to be reverent. There is a time for quiet solemn celebration, but scripture so often describes the response to God’s work, His outpouring of mercy and grace, His saving of His people, with words like these. Somehow we toned them down as they came into English, Be glad, our modern dictionaries say it means to be pleased. Yet the Hebrew is more like abounding in delight, amazed, and perhaps the best known use of Hava Nigelah is Jeremiah 31:13 – and He will turn your mourning into dancing!

It’s time to dance & celebrate! Why?

God Has Created Something New!

He’s broke time –

All history centers there

All history for us – centers at baptismal font!

The past is Gone!

Instead of remembering that – remember this!

Hear verses 17-18 again.

17“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.18But be glad and rejoice forever in that which I create; for behold, I create Jerusalem to be a joy, and her people to be a gladness.

This morning, and for weeks to come, we celebrate the new life we have in Christ, as seen in the fact that the grave wasn’t strong enough to keep him in it. That God raised us from the dead with Christ. He is Risen, and as we have been united in His death as He baptized us, so to are we united in His resurrection!

I have mentioned it before, in Ephesians 2, we Lutherans know well verses 8 and 9 – 8

Because it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; not by anything of your own, but by a gift from God; 9 not by anything that you have done, so that nobody can claim the credit.

It is verse 8 that causes us to rejoice, to celebrate, to cry out Hava Negilah!

10 We are God's work of art, created in Christ Jesus for the good works which God has already designated to make up our way of life. Ephesians 2:8-10 (NJB)

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