More than a month before Christmas, traditional carols and songs about reindeer and snowmen bombard us everywhere we go. Maybe it begins too early, but I do love hearing Christmas music and it certainly gets me in the mood for the season. It wouldn’t be Christmas without it.
Many pastors claim that Easter is the most significant of the holy days; that our faith would be in vain apart from the resurrection. So why is that we only hear Easter music a few mornings a year at the most, and then only in church?
In our contemporary service the past few years, Steve and I have missed being greeted on Easter morning with a rousing rendition of “Christ the Lord is risen today” and other classic hymns of the cross. Those timeless words articulate gospel theology so beautifully.
Isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?
According to the Apostle Paul:
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures …
And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
I Cor 15:2-4, 17-19
As you meditate on the following lyrics penned by Charles Wesley in 1739, may you soar now where Christ has led. Because he willingly laid down his life for us, love’s redeeming work is done and death no longer has any sting. “Everlasting life is this: Thee to know. Thy power to prove. Thus to sing. Thus to love.”
Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth reply, Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!
King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasing life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, Thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!