NOTES FROM DANIEL…
It all starts with Scripture. In the moments that follow writing this article, it will be time once again to prepare a worship service. And, it all starts with Scripture. I take the passage to be preached on, and I read it and pray about it. Invariably, my mind is moved to take certain words or phrases into consideration, and these become the ideas around which I search for hymns and songs. Of course, some services are easier than others. For example, It simply wouldn’t feel quite like Easter if we didn’t sing “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” now would it? Charles Wesley wrote this grand hymn text in 1739, about one year following his Aldersgate Experience. It was first sung at the first service in The Foundry Meeting House, which was the first Methodist chapel in London.
During the season of Easter, we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus in Scripture and in song. Even in a time that seeks to grip us with fear, may we remember that our hope is clothed in certainty: “Death is death, Love has one, Christ has conquered; And we shall reign with Him, for He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!” As Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.” He continues on to assure us that “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed…Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” The resurrection changed everything. It gives us a framework of hope to apply to the trials of each day (ours the cross), it assures us death is not the end (the grave), and provides us the ultimate hope of glorification (the skies).
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!