March 27, 2016 (Sunrise Service) — Nancy Bancroft
Paul Harvey Aurandt better known as Paul Harvey was a conservative American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks. Paul Harvey, for any of you who may remember, had a distinctive style. His on-air persona was influenced by sportscaster Bill Stern, who had an emphatic manner of delivery, and used expressions such as Reel Two and Reel Three to denote segments of the broadcast—much like Harvey’s Page Two and Page Three.
Harvey was also known for catch phrases he used at the beginning of his programs, such as “Hello Americans, this is Paul Harvey. Stand by for NEWS!” He always ended, “Paul Harvey … Good day.”
From the 1950s through the 1990s, Harvey’s programs reached as many as 24 million people a week. Paul Harvey News was carried on 1,200 radio stations, 400 Armed Forces Network stations and 300 newspapers. He broadcast News and Comment on weekday mornings and mid-days, and at noon on Saturdays. And one of the segments of his news, always begun by the same slogan, developed into its own program: The Rest of the Story.
The Rest of the Story began during the Second World War as a Monday-through-Friday segment of his newscasts and then premiered as its own series in, 1976. The Rest of the Story aired until Harvey’s death in 2009. ABC radio tried to continue the program after Harvey died, but it just wasn’t the same. The program was canceled after just three weeks with a new host.
The Rest of the Story consisted of stories presented as little-known or forgotten facts on a variety of subjects with some key element of the story (usually the name of some well-known person) held back until the end. The broadcasts always concluded with “And now you know the rest of the story.”
So what does this have to do with Easter morning? Many of you attended the Maundy Thursday service in which one part was the Tenebrae ritual. For those of you not present, Tenebrae is Latin for “shadows” and the ritual is the story of the passion of Jesus, cut up and read in at least seven parts, and interspersed with the gradual extinguishing of candles for dramatic effect, until the church is almost in complete darkness. The last reading of the ritual is Psalm twenty-two and includes verses such as: My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?, Why are you so far away when I groan for help?,They have pierced my hands and feet, I can count all my bones, and My enemies stare at me and gloat;very bleak and depressing stuff!
But the good news is that what we read together on Maundy Thursday was not the whole Psalm. We read only up to verse 21. Psalm 22 is long. There are ten more verses, and those are what we read this morning as we began this service:
For he has not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted one; he has not hidden his face from him but has listened to his cry for help, The poor will eat and be satisfied; those who seek the LORD will find him, and the dramatic He has done it!
And that’s the rest of the story!
The Lord has risen! Alleluia!