‘Easter People, Raise Your Voices’ in joy
Do we have a problem with Easter? Yes, we do if we see it only as a one-day celebration. When the preparations are over and the worship service is only a memory, is there more? Yes, of course, there is much more for the Christian who is once again assured that the Friday Crucifixion of our Lord Jesus resulted in His being raised from the dead on that glorious Resurrection day.
We not only shout, “He is risen, He is risen, indeed.” We live that gospel truth out in our everyday lives. I cherish even the thought of those blessed disciples who saw the risen Lord several times and heard him say, “Peace to you! As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” (John 20:21)
They went into all the world to preach the Gospel just as He said. So we too, continue to witness to our faith in our risen Lord.
It is always a joy that some of our most vibrant witnessing can be wrapped in music. In our church, the Sunday after Easter, we sang one of the newest hymns that beautifully shares the resurrection story. “Easter People, Raise Your Voices” was composed in 1979 by the Rev. William James. When he died in January of this year, he left a lasting message of faith imbedded in lovely music.
Of all the sermons he preached in his 97 years, this is surely one of the most lasting messages. James was a United Methodist pastor in New York City and was dearly loved.
“It is said that he is responsible for nearly 100 persons going into full-time ministry and made it possible for hundreds more to attend college,” said Bishop Woodie White. “What an effective urban pastor and a servant of Christ.”
For years to come, I trust that we will continue to lift this praise to God as we share the glorious resurrection story.
From the last verse of this hymn, we get our marching orders to obey Jesus and go out into the world with His message: “Every day to us is Easter, with its resurrection song. When in trouble move the faster, to our God who rights the wrong. Alleluia! Alleluia! See the power of heavenly throngs.”
Reach Lucy N. Adams at Lucya424@aol.com or visit www.52hymns.com.