Alleluia! Christ is risen!

 

This morning’s Easter
Day Service was a joy singing the wonderful Resurrection hymns.  We began with Charles Wesley’s hymn ‘Christ
the Lord is risen today; Alleluia!’, which is a great hymn of triumph – verse 3

‘Lives again our
glorious king;

Where, O death, is now
thy sting?

Once he died our souls
to save;

Where’s thy victory,
boasting grave?’

The resurrection
account was taken from Luke 24 and described the women being first at the tomb and
meeting the angels, who reminded them of what Jesus had said about his death and
resurrection and told them not to be afraid. 
The women hurried to tell the disciples but they did not believe them;
only Peter ran to the tomb and was amazed by what he saw.  Shaun our minister said that he could
understand the disciples’ reaction; it did not seem at all believable.  It is not something that can be proved as it
is a matter of faith; I know that Jesus is alive in my own experience, but each
person has to find out for himself. 
There are many things we might find easier to believe if we had seen it
for ourselves but other things we have to take on trust.  We sang a second Charles Wesley hymn of resurrection
‘All ye that seek the Lord who died,’ and the final verse says it all –

‘Go, tell the followers
of your Lord

Their Jesus is to life
restored;

He lives, that they his
life may find;

He lives to quicken all
mankind.’  Jesus lives to bring life in
all its abundance to everyone.

 

We should sing
resurrection hymns every week not just in the Easter season as our faith is a
built on the resurrection of Jesus from the dead and he is alive to help us to
live as God has created us to live. 
Brian Wren wrote our third hymn which was ‘Christ is alive! Let
Christians sing;’ and verse 4 sums up what Jesus death and resurrection means
for us today –

‘In every insult, rift
and war,

Where colour, scorn or
wealth divide,

He suffers still, yet
loves the more,

And lives, though ever
crucified.  Jesus lives today and suffers
again with those who suffer. 

Shaun  talked of an old lady who he visited, who was
dying but the staff could not understand what she kept mumbling; Shaun listened
closely and recognised the word ‘Prokofiev’ and realised it was her love of
music and that she wanted to hear a record of his.  As soon as one of his records was played the
peace in the lady’s room was tangible; she had wanted to slip away listening to
her favourite music.

As we prepared to
receive communion we sang ‘The day of resurrection’ and we shared the Easter
celebration.  The children joined us for
communion and all the congregation decorated our cross made from the Christmas
tree with flowers and it looked magnificent so bright and full of new
life.  That was taken outside our chapel
to be displayed as a witness to our neighbourhood.  It helped raise my spirits today, as I still
feel tired and drained after my journey and visit to my sister, and yet I know
she is at peace.  I assured her of her
loving Lord welcoming her and accepting her. 
Our service concluded with the wonderful resurrection hymn, ‘Thine be
the glory’.  Alleluia! Christ is
risen!  He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

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