Thursday, April 28, 2011

Walk On Resurrection People

On Easter morning, Pisgah saints sang the beautiful hymn Easter People, Raise Your Voices (#304) as our call to worship. The third verse begins with these words "Everyday to us is Easter, with its resurrection song." As Lent has wound its way to Easter, I've been thinking about these kinds of words. More specifically, some questions that they bring to my mind: What does it mean to be called Resurrection people? How should we live when we know that death is now no defeat for those in Christ?

One of the things I love about our dear old United Methodist Hymnal is that it often acts as a theological guide for us. In our dearest and best loved hymns, and even in those we don't know by heart, are nuggets of theological wisdom for us to hold on to.

There is wisdom about the (our) human condition and remedies for it.
Dark is the stain that we cannot hide. What can avail to wash it away? (#365)
All to Jesus I surrender, Lord, I give myself to thee. (#354)

There are songs of praise and thanksgiving:
To God be the glory, great things he hath done!
So loved he the world that he gave us his son! (#98)

There are songs of petition and help:
Do, Lord, do Lord, do Lord, remember me. (#527)
Sometimes I feel discouraged, and think my work's in vain.
But then the Holy Spirit revives my soul again. (#375)

There are songs of assurance and comfort:
Through it all, through it all, I've learned to trust in Jesus. (#507)
Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come;
'tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home. (#378)

As they traveled from village to village, John Wesley encouraged all circuit riding preachers to carry with them two books, the Holy Bible, and Methodist hymnal. Our modern hymnal is rich in tradition and gives us a graceful means to worship both at church and at home. I challenge each of us this Easter season to take up our hymnal. If you don't sing or know music...just read the words, and you'll be blessed.

As for the question as to how we Resurrection people should live, we find an answer one page further in our hymnal with hymn #305, Camina, Pueblo de Dios (Walk On, O People of God).

Walk on, O people of God;
Walk on, O people of God;
A new law, God's new alliance,
all creation is reborn.
Walk on, O people of God;

We are indeed called as Resurrection people to continue our journey with God, to live and act fearlessly, with a boldness and clarity that comes with assurance from God our creator, our redeemer, our sustainer and our Lord. To God be the Glory (#98). Amen.

Walking the resurrection life. Pastor Judy

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