April 24, 2011

easter Welcome happy morning, age to age shall say! To paraphrase my Auntie Marge’s favorite Easter hymn (or at least I think it is!), today serves as the bedrock of the Christian faith. As the Apostle Paul once wrote (in not so many words) if Chris Jesus did not rise from the dead, then a very poor joke has been played on us all, indeed!

BTW, I can’t hear this hymn without remembering how fast my godfather Milt (or choir director at St. Anne’s Episcopal Church when I sang in the choir there) would play this song. We’d be almost out of breath trying to keep up with him. Great memories! May he rest in peace with all the saints.

But I digress. Happily so!

Anyways, but that’s where the whole idea of religion and faith comes in, doesn’t it? I feel bad for those who go through life with a jaded eye towards religion, saying, to some effect, if I can’t see it or quantify it I don’t believe it. There are so many things we poor human saps go through every day in faith without any assuredness of truth – I won’t go through them all, it’s a pointless argument to non-believers – I’ll just leave the question open.

What I find most intriguing about the Gospels is how unified they are as far as the basic Easter story, and the central role women played in it – certainly unusual given the place of women in such a patriarchal society then (and still today, for that matter).

But today is not a day for apologetics, it is one for rejoicing and proclaiming Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. So let’s leave it at that. As the proclamation ringing throughout churches across Christendom today goes:

Alleluia! Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

And the most common Easter hymn to be sung.

Here’s my favorite Easter hymn. Brings me to tears every time I hear it; both the tune and the story it tells have remained with me ever since the first time I heard it as a child. To me it was always very powerful, lots of imagery for the mind of a child to get around – fantastically so:

Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought forth Israel into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot through the Red Sea waters.

’Tis the spring of souls today; Christ has burst His prison,
And from three days’ sleep in death as a sun hath risen;
All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
From His light, to Whom we give laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus’ resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death, nor the tomb’s dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal hold Thee as a mortal;
But today amidst thy own Thou dost stand, bestowing
That Thy peace which evermore passeth human knowing.

Alleluia, the Lord is risen indeed!

A happy and blessed Easter to everyone! All our Easter rabbits of the non-chocolate variety send their warmest wishes and regards.

Filed in: Religion & Culture by The Great White Shank at 00:50 | Comment (1)
1 Comment »
  1. Touche. Great arguments. Keep up the good effort.

    Comment by Brady — September 23, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

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