Suggested Hymns

Easter Sunday

April 12, 1998

Unifying Theme:
The universal first and best

He is Risen!
Scripture Theme Hymns
Isaiah 65:17-25 God has a wonderful world in store for His people 715: Rejoice, the Lord Is King
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 Christ, the demonstration of God's enduring love, has become the capstone 325: Hail, Thou Once Despised Jesus
559: Christ Is Made the Sure Foundation
John 20:1-18
Luke 24:1-12
He is Risen!!
or (and?)
He is Risen!!
302: Christ the Lord Is Risen Today
303: The Day of Resurrection
327: Crown Him with Many Crowns
Acts 10:34-43
1 Corinthians 15:19-26
Salvation is for all
Christ raised as the first fruits; the rest of the harvest follows
189: Fairest Lord Jesus
569: We've a Story to Tell to the Nations

Featured Hymn
Fairest Lord Jesus

Hymn #189
Words from Munster Gesangbuch;
trans. by Joseph August Seiss
Music from
Schlesische Volkslieder;
arr. by Richard Storrs Willis
Tune name: ST. ELIZABETH

You are one of Christ's closest friends. He always said that He came to fulfill the law and the prophets. But now He is gone. He has been tried and executed. His body was laid in a tomb. This is the third day since then. Now it is Sunday morning. It has been the longest weekend of your life.

Christ had come to Jerusalem for the Passover. Following His example, you had shared the Passover (Seder) meal. You told the story of the exodus. You had celebrated God's deliverance of Isreal from bondage and from the curse of the angel of death. The feast of unleavened bread had begun. But now Christ was gone.

You can't seem to find that Passover spirit. Bondage and oppression continues, both for your nation and for you personally. The Hebrew people are still under Roman rule. The Jewish leaders who persecuted Christ are still in charge. Deliverance from the curse of death has no meaning to you today. Christ Himself is in a tomb.

Quietly and solemnly you gather some things to complete the burial of your Lord. You make your way to the garden and the cave where He was laid. When you arrive, though, He is gone. Gone! What do you feel? Fear? Outrage? Confusion?

You have to find out where He is. You are so upset that you can't see clearly. Someone is near and sees your distress. He asks what is wrong. You say something about finding Christ. You ask where to find Him. Then He calls you by name. You lift your eyes in disbelief, and He is there. Christ Himself is standing in front of you. All disbelief fades away. Hope is restored. It is a new week and a new world. This is new life--life from death!

What do you feel now? Joy? Rapture? Exhilaration? How do you describe it? One hymn writer shared their feelings in this week's featured hymn. It isn't the first hymn you think of for Easter, but put yourself into Mary's shoes on the resurrection morning and read the second verse:

Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands, 
robed in the blooming garb of spring:  
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer 
who makes the woeful heart to sing.

How woeful Mary's heart must have been on the way to the tomb. How things changed, though. Her heart must have leapt with joy. May your joy in the risen Lord be as great as Mary's.

God bless you--

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Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.