Daily Hymn Project: Easter Edition. Week 1, Matthew 28:1-10
In the morning I (Matthew) will often rise, go into my home office and begin the day. But before long my wife and three year old come upstairs and instantly put on some music. This music breaks the silence that I enjoy in these early morning hours, but every single morning this music they start their day with is a hymn. My wife started this project of listening to one hymn together with our daughter daily for an entire month. Listening to the same song every morning is could feel repetitive, but it doesn't seem that way for us and our daughter. By the second week she's singing along and learning the faith at the same time.
When Cabe and I sat down and thought about our hopes for V+B one goal was making resources for families, single persons, or groups of adults. Often this kind of thing revolves around a bible reading program, and while these things can be great, we've always thought about the challenge of getting words and prayers inside our bones and guts not just in our heads. The practice of singing hymns seemed like a great place to start.
So each month we'll take a hymn and provide a short bible study for each week. We figured there was no better time to start than with Easter, and the glorious news that Christ is risen.
Sing "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" (Charles Wesley)
Christ the Lord is ris'n today alleluia
Sons of men and angels say alleluia
Raise your joys and triumphs high alleluia
Sing ye heavens and earth reply alleluia
Lives again our glorious King alleluia
Where O death is now thy sting alleluia
Dying once He all doth save alleluia
Where thy victory O grave alleluia
Love's redeeming work is done alleluia
Fought the fight the battle won alleluia
Death in vain forbids Him rise alleluia
Christ has opened paradise alleluia
Soar we now where Christ has led alleluia
Following our exalted Head alleluia
Made like Him like Him we rise alleluia
Ours the cross the grave the skies 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
Read Matthew 28:1-10
“After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”” (Matt 28:1–10 NIV11-GK)
Most of us are familiar with taking 40 days during Lent to practice self-denial and journey toward the cross. We celebrated Easter this week in our churches, but we often forget that Easter is more than a single day - it is also a season. If we spend 40 days in self-denial how much more should we remain in celebration for the 50 days of Eastertide to remember the good news of the resurrection? Lent is most often about giving stuff up, so maybe the Easter season should be about taking up new ways of celebrating God's gifts and salvation.
What might you start doing this year for Easter? Maybe it will be a new project or venture, a new hobby or something to create that somehow says "Halleluiah!" Consider setting a time where you eat or share something that brings you joy with someone else. Easter should be more than just one day where we are full of joy. Perhaps it's time we put in the effort to make it so!
Jesus has risen from the dead so nothing can ever be the same.
Group with Adults
What's one way you and group can make Easter great again within your community?
Group with Kids
What new thing would you like to do to celebrate Easter? Or, what's something we can to do together to keep the celebration going?