Today We Sing

So, friends, every day do something
that won’t compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it……

 Be joyful, though you have considered all the facts.

Practice Resurrection…

(From Wendell Berry’s  Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front)

Today – Easter Day – we sing, preach, and pray our good news of resurrection. Our liturgies will echo this message with fifty days of Alleluia. But how will we echo it in our common life in the world? How will we practice what we’ve heard and preached – practice resurrection, to borrow a Wendell Berry phrase?

John has taught for years in a middle school in the toughest part of town. Every third day he tells himself he’s fed up with low community resources, unmotivated students, and uninterested parents. But the next morning he rises and does it all again – he’s practicing resurrection.

Sarah is 101 days sober, after countless days and months of chaos. It’s been the hardest 101 days of her life. The cravings are sometimes impossible to resist. But she calls her sponsor and heads to a meeting and higher ground – practicing resurrection.

The NewYou Salon is closing an hour early today. Some of the stylists are heading to the homeless shelter where they offer monthly haircuts; William is off to the funeral home to fix Miss Dottie’s hair of the last time – the least he can do for her family. They are practicing resurrection.

Every day these faithful people live out the promise that life has trumped death. Their witness – as compelling as that of Paul or Silas, or Mary Magdalene – helps me believe the truth of what I try to preach.

This Easter season I plan to be on the watch for these witnesses. It’s easy to see the footprints of death – just turn on the news. But I thrill at the often overlooked steps of faithful men, women, and children whose daily acts trample death underfoot.

A few years ago I was sustained by some of these witnesses. My wife and I lived through a very dark season – a bout with cancer, the slow death of a parent, and a great crisis in the life a young person in our family. During these few months, it was easy to believe in the power of darkness; harder to believe in the power of life. Yet we were surrounded by a vast cloud of people who helped us believe. I cannot begin to recall all their names or all that they said and did.  But their actions and words sounded something like these –   I am with you; Let us bear one another’s burdens; Do not harden your hearts; Take, eat;  Fear not. These witnesses were practicing resurrection; we saw and believed.

What song reminds you of the reality of the Resurrection in your life? Maybe it’s a hymn, maybe it’s a popular song on the radio, maybe it’s a childhood favorite. Share it in the comments with others, if you like. Sing it today. Loudly and joyfully. For today – for Easter – we sing!

-The Rt. Rev. Doug Hahn, Bishop of Lexington

Bishop Hahn is our Fabulous Proclaimer of the Resurrection this year, the person who kicks off 50 Days of Fabulous.  Alleluia, Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed!

And the 50 Days of Fabulous begin…  

14 thoughts on “Today We Sing

  1. Chris Carey

    I want to walk as a child of the light….to me that hymn says it all…what my life as a Christian should be…Excellent blog this Easter morning.

    1. Millie

      “In him there is no darkness at all…” Thank you for sharing this one! A favorite that does say it all!

  2. Leanne

    The last song in our service today. “Roll Away the Stone” by Tom Conry. The chorus is the Glory of God bright and joyful , the verses are stark, shadowy, what it feels like to be without the Christ-light, and in the fourth verse, the descant covers those dark verses with Christ-light as the sopranos sing: “All who thirst shall taste the water, all the blind shall find their way…”

    As its the last song in the service, I also see it as a call to us to take our Easter gift out into the world…

  3. Millie

    “The strife is oe’r, the battle done,
    The victory of life is won;
    the song of triumph has begun.

    I woke with this hymn on my lips this morning; we later sang it in church. In the last verse we sing, “…that we may live and sing to thee.” Isn’t that just what we are doing when we live out resurrection lives in the world?

  4. Peg S.

    I read this and thought about the question in the course of the day. The first song that came to mind begins, “Jesus Christ is risen today, Alleluia.” On the nose, yes, but it really is a joyful song to sing, whether I’m in a congregation or tooling down the Interstate warbling solo in the Pontiac. Of course, for a really good car hymn, it’s hard to beat “You Raise Me Up,” as sung by Josh Groban (harmonies by me). Within the last year, I’ve grown very fond of “A The King of Love My Shepherd Is.” It’s a song that helps stand me up again.

  5. Verdery

    Since Leanne took “Roll Away the Stone” and Millie chose “The Strife is Oe’r”, I’ll have to go with “Hail Thee, Festival Day!”, especially the first verse:

    Lo, the fair beauty of earth, from the death of the winter arising.
    Every good gift of the year now with its Master returns.
    Hail thee, festival day, blest day that art hallowed forever.
    Day whereon Christ arose, breaking the kingdom of death.

  6. Donna Lou Ritter

    “God is love and where true love is found, God himself is there.” Except I mentally revise it to “God is love and where true love is found, God, true God, is there”. It reminds me that wherever there is love, even among people who deny God or ignore God, God is present.

  7. Miss Jan

    Don’t laugh . . . especially at the fact it isn’t a traditional “Easter” song . . .
    I sing a song of the saints of God

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