Wednesday, March 30, 2016

He is Risen! He is Risen, Indeed!

 We had a great Easter with our family.   I especially love that the kids personalities come through in this picture!  It reminded me of another Easter...... so here are a couple of throwback pictures of a long ago Easter in 1990!

Back to the present time which was much less "Nautical"!  We all went to church together.....Doug and Susie, Gwen and Tim and the kids and Ken and I.  We crowded into one row of chairs with the kids sharing our laps and the space between the chairs!  It was a wonderful service and we sang one of my favorite songs.  It does bring tears to my eyes, along with memories of my mom, but I still love it.  The song, "In Christ Alone" is a special one for Gwen and me, and my mom loved this song.  Here are the lyrics....
In Christ Alone

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
'Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

Every time I hear this song I am transported back to the very first time I ever heard this song.  My mom and I always attended a conference held near her house, during my August visits.  There was one year that Gwen came to the opening worship service with my mom and I.  The conference was held in a large church that held several thousand people.  The place was filled to overflowing that night.  And this song was sung.  At the third verse........ 
                                                     There in the ground His body lay

Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
something happened that was just incredible.  At the line "up from the grave He rose again" there was a growing swell of people just shouting and clapping.  It filled the entire room!  The worship just stopped until the shouting and clapping had begun to quiet.  Finally, the song was finished and the worship continued.  But it was one of those holy, holy moments when you just know that something has happened.  The next day, Gwen was talking about this song....remembering that it was actually a modern hymn that told the entire Gospel message. She wanted to find a CD with song on it so that she could listen to it again and again.  We went to the Christian book store and began to look for this song.....and we did not know the name of the song!  My mom thought it was an impossible search without the title or the artist.  But Gwen found the song and we bought the CD!  It may seem like a little thing, but to my mom, Gwen finding that CD was a miracle.  She loved this song and as it became more popular, she would often tell me each time she heard it on the radio or when it was sung in her church.   I selected this song for my mom's memorial service and honoring my mom's wishes, Gwen sang it!  Gwen was pregnant with Zeke when my mom died.  But it seems so fitting that Zeke's first cry came on my mom's birthday, just a few weeks after her last breath.  Her legacy lives on.  

Yes, this song is an Easter song!  It has the message and the hope and joy that IS Easter, all in one song.  There is no guilt in life....and there is no fear in death.  Jesus commands our destiny!  What joyful, life giving words. I have a feeling that this "modern hymn" will be around for long, long time. 

We had a wonderful day being together.  There was the traditional egg hunt and lots of candy all around.  I loved seeing all 10 of us gathered around the table, eating together.  It reminded me of that great big banqueting table in heaven, and I was picturing all of those "saints that have gone on" around that table, feasting with Jesus.  It was a great ending to a glorious day.  He is risen! He is risen, indeed!  Alleluia!   

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