I hold a very specific picture of Easter services in my mind. So many memories of being seated with my family, light streaming into our church, and the congregation rising to sing one of the most joyous hymns of the faith:
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!
One can feel the excitement and wonder building in the congregation. Hands raise here and there, heads thrown back as if to see what lies above.
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Even before the pastor begins to preach, even before the first passage of Scripture is read to the waiting worshippers, we celebrate one of the great miracles of our faith.
Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia!
I love Christmas for its promise, but I love Easter for its radiant joy. Christ is indeed alive, and on Resurrection Sunday, it feels as though the very stones will cry out from the vastness of the wonder and celebration. Christ has resurrected from the dead, we who were dead in our sins can live!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Triumphant indeed. Christ has conquered sin and death. We are alive. We are alive in Him. Now let us go forth and celebrate!