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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Easter Sunday, April 12, 2020  

Today’s Hymn

“Christ the Lord is risen today!” Alleluia!
All creation, join to say: Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, O heavens, 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 your sting? Alleluia!
Jesus died, our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where your victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven! Alleluia!
Praise to you by both be given, Alleluia!
Every knee to you shall bow, Alleluia!
Risen Christ, triumphant now. Alleluia!

“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today!” by Charles Wesley
Hymn 245, Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

Reflection
This hymn is one of my favorite hymns that we sing, and not only because we do not say “Alleluia” during the season of Lent and so I am parched for it by the time Easter finally arrives. No, I particularly relish the holy rebelliousness of this hymn. Now, you might not sense the rebellion at first glance. But look closely and you will spot it. I see it throughout each verse—the rebellion of goodness, of life, of praise against any power or force that might try and negate those holy things. “All creation join to say: Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia! Where, O death is now your sting, Alleluia! Where your victory, O grave? Alleluia!”

As I sing those verses in my head, I feel this rush of courage and hope fueled by God’s promise that the brokenness we see and experience now all around us will not be forever. Rather, because of what we see revealed through Easter, we know the day is coming when all of creation will fully embody this hymn of praise in full and “Alleluias” will replace any weeping—and healing, any pain.

But until that day is all in all, we will keep singing this hymn with every ounce of holy rebelliousness we’ve got, declaring to our world that “though we may try and kill God’s Love, we cannot keep it dead and buried” (my favorite William Sloane Coffin maxim). Happy Easter!

Prayer
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven! Alleluia! Praise to you by both be given, Alleluia! Every knee to you shall bow, Alleluia! Risen Christ, triumphant now. Alleluia! May all power and glory and honor be yours, almighty God, from now until forever! Amen.

Written by Shannon J. Kershner, Pastor

Reflection and Prayer © Fourth Presbyterian Church


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