To God’s beloved people at John Wesley:
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
“Christ the Lord is Risen Today,” written by Methodism’s own Charles Wesley, is one of my very favorite hymns. I love almost everything about it: the joyful Alleluia! at the end of each line, the call on earth and heaven alike to sing God’s praises, the incredibly good news that Christ is risen indeed and life has triumphed over death. It’s a wonderful hymn, and one found in many hymnals in many Christian communities, not only in our United Methodist Church.
I grew up singing this hymn every Easter Sunday. To be honest, we only ever sang it on Easter Sunday. It proclaims the good news that we celebrate most clearly on that day: Christ is risen! And part of why I love this hymn so much is that feeling that it’s reserved for this special occasion, that it’s saved for this one particular day each year.
But we believe that Christ is risen every day, not only on Easter Sunday. The good news of the resurrection is that life is available each and every day, that each new morning is a chance to discover this precious gift, this wonderful surprise that the tomb is empty. Christ is risen today, every day. Not only on Sundays, but on Tuesdays and Fridays and every other day. Not only when we feel the joy of resurrection, but also when we feel the sting of death or the pain of darkness. Christ is risen today, every day.
So on Easter Sunday we will sing this hymn. I imagine some of you love it as much as I do. But let’s sing it more often than that, too. Even if we don’t actually sing it in worship together (though we’ll probably sing it again before the spring is through), let’s sing the good news that Christ is risen as often as we can. Let’s sing it with our very lives, by sharing the gift of life and light we have received. Let’s sing it by inviting all of earth and heaven to sing along with us. Let’s sing as the Easter people we are, not only on that one triumphant Sunday, but each and every day.
Christ the Lord is risen today! Every day! Alleluia!
Grace and peace to you,