Christ the Lord is risen today; Alleluia! Let creation join to say: Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high; Alleluia! Sing, ye heavens; thou earth, reply: Alleluia!
Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won; Alleluia! Lo! our sun’s eclipse is o’er; Alleluia! Lo! he sets in blood no more. Alleluia!
Vain the stone, the watch, the seal; Alleluia! Christ hath burst the gates of hell: Alleluia! Death in vain forbids his rise; Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise. Alleluia!
Lives again our glorious king; Alleluia! Where, O death, is now your sting? Alleluia Dying once, he all doth save; Alleluia! Where’s thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Following our exalted head; Alleluia! Made like him, like him we rise; Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies: Alleluia!
Hail the Lord of earth and heaven! Alleluia! Praise to thee by both be given: Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail, the resurrection Thou! Alleluia!
Charles Wesley (1707-1788)
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, ‘Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.” This is my message for you.’ So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, ‘Greetings!’ And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, ‘Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.’
St Matthew 28:1-10
Charles Wesley was perhaps the most prolific hymn writer. Like many of his hymns, this one was originally far longer, but has been edited to be more helpful in the contemporary context.
Inspired by Wesley’s affecting poetry, may Christ be risen in us today, and may we look for him in the world around us.
May Christ be risen in us today as we receive the challenge and inspiration to be his new creations in this world.
May Christ be risen in us today, as we no longer look for him among the dead, because he is alive.
May Christ be risen in us today, the gift of life renewed within us.
May Christ be risen in us today, increasing his new life in our minds and hearts, and helping us to grow as his people, towards the fullness of eternal life.
Risen Lord, our strength and our redeemer, the vacant cross and the empty tomb vindicate your claim that the love which suffers is the love which saves. So fill your people with joy, and your Church with celebration, that the world may know that your holy son Jesus is not a dead hero we commemorate, but the living Lord we worship. Amen.
The Rev’d Michael Hopkins is the minister of Farnham & Elstead URCs in Surrey and Clerk of General Assembly.
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