Christ Is Alive!
April 16, 2019
Martin Luther King was assassinated ten days before Easter in 1968. The impact of his life and teachings extended far beyond the United States. Hymn author Brian Wren (b. 1936) was serving at the time in a church in the United Kingdom. As he prepared for Easter services in 1968, he was dismayed that none of the Easter hymns in the hymnal said what he wanted to say to his congregation in light of King’s death. So he penned these words to offer Easter hope in response to tragedy.
Christ is alive! Let Christians sing. The cross stands empty to the sky. Let streets and homes with praises ring. Love, drowned in death, shall never die.
How can we keep from singing? We Christians have so much to celebrate. Death has been vanquished. Christ and the love he makes possible will never die.
Christ is alive! No longer bound to distant years in Palestine, But saving, healing, here and now, and touching every place and time.
Christ is not a historic figure who lived a long time ago in a distant place. He is here with us now and always, continuing to save and heal people all over the world.
In every insult, rift, and war where color, scorn, or wealth divide, Christ suffers still, yet loves the more, and lives, where even hope has died.
Hearing and reading the news often leaves us feeling helpless and hopeless. We see so many signs of hatred and disregard for others in our lost and divided world. Wren doubtless had in mind the teachings of Christ as well as the words of Martin Luther King when he wrote this verse. Christ suffered on the cross to atone for our sins, and loves us in spite of our doubt, our failures, and our shortcomings.
Women and men, in age and youth, can feel the Spirit, hear the call, And find the way, the life, the truth, revealed in Jesus, freed for all.
The calling of God and the gift of the Holy Spirit are for all people. John 14:6 reminds us of the words of Jesus, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Christ is alive, and comes to bring good news to this and every age, Till earth and sky and ocean ring with joy, with justice, love, and praise.
A Facebook user recently lamented, “Can’t someone post some good news for a change?” Christ’s victory over sin and death brings us Good News yesterday, today, and tomorrow. A world that lives by this Good News is a world full of joy, justice, love, and praise – the same goals Martin Luther King had for humankind.
Sylvia Trimmier – FLPC Organist