Daily Hymn Project: Easter Edition. Week 4, Isaiah 25:6-9
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 Isaiah 25:6-9
On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare
a feast of rich food for all peoples,
a banquet of aged wine—
the best of meats and the finest of wines.
On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove his people’s disgrace
from all the earth.
The LORD has spoken.
In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.” (Isaiah 25:6-9, NIV)
Easter is God's great victory. That's what these past four weeks have been all about. God raised Jesus from the dead, and that means death isn't all it's cracked up to be. God is undoing the forces of sin and death in the world - this is an exciting and new thing. In a way, it is totally unexpected.
But in another way, God's people were tipped off hundreds of years before Jesus walked the earth. This short passage from the book of the prophet Isaiah is one of my (Cabe's) favorites. It describes the city of Jerusalem as a place where God's victory is made complete and concludes with a big party. The wine is flowing, and the meat is fork-tender! Death, that great force that the ancients thought of as eventually swallowing everyone and everything in destruction, has itself been swallowed. Disgrace and dishonor are washed away, and tears are being made obsolete. God spoke, and all this happened. And what's left is safety and pure joy.
Group with Adults
On Easter it seems we celebrate Sunday morning together then retreat to have time with families. Does your group have time to host an Easter party for your community or neighbors? Think about what it would look and feel like to share the joy of Easter by throwing a public Easter party. Then actually make it happen!
Group with Kids
As we approach the end of Easter season is there snack or dessert you can help your parents make? Make that snack and then share it with someone - maybe a friend, neighbor, or family member.