We will sing on Sunday. LPC is a singing church, but especially on Easter Sunday we will sing. The hymns and songs we sing at the first two services are well-known, sung by generations of faithful worshipers. The songs sung at the 11:30 service are more contemporary, but likewise powerful songs declaring “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.” Indeed, “the day of Resurrection, earth tell it out abroad!”
We encourage our members to share Easter worship with their friends. “Bells, brass, Hallelujah Chorus,” we say of the 9:45 service. We’ll set up extra chairs if we need to. The hymns we sing on Sunday are teaching hymns. Both lyrics and tunes nurture our understanding of what happened that day at the center of time.
Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia!
our triumphant holy day, Alleluia!
who did once upon the cross, Alleluia!
suffer to redeem our loss. Alleluia!
So our first hymn teaches us.
The hymns will continue to instruct us:
Jesus is Lord of all the earth
He is the King of creation
Spread the good news o’er all the earth
Jesus has died and has risen
The powers of death have done their worst,
but Christ their legions has dispersed.
Let shouts of holy joy outburst.
From death to life eternal,
from earth unto the sky,
our Christ hath brought us over,
with hymns of victory.
Good hymns and strong music teach good and strong truth. I can hardly wait!
There’s a silly little ditty in the Easter section of the newest Presbyterian hymnal. Why the hymnal committee (which famously banned “In Christ Alone”) included it, I don’ t know. We won’t be singing it.
I first came across “In the Bulb There is a Flower” a number of years ago when someone wanted it sung at a funeral. We sang it then, but never again. The song teaches how bulbs become flowers, seeds become trees, and cocoons become butterflies. It reminds us that spring always follows winter. It teaches that resurrection is not any different than the cycles of nature. It is vapid. Don’t waste your time coming to church if tulips speak as loudly as an empty cross and the choir sings “In the Bulb there is a Flower” instead of “Thine is the Glory, Risen, Conquering Son.” Stay home and get ready for your March Madness party.
From Sunday’s call to worship – He is Risen! He is risen indeed! – to the final note of Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, we will learn of Christ crucified and raised from the dead. Indeed, as the Apostle Paul writes, “If Christ has not been raised…we of all people are most to be pitied.”
Barely catching his breath, Paul continues, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead!”
The Sanctuary and the Chapel will be full of tulips and lilies on Sunday morning. It is altogether appropriate that our worship space be so adorned. But don’t come for the pretty flowers. Come to worship the risen Christ!
See you Sunday