April 11, 2018

Easter people raise your voices
Sounds of heaven in earth should ring
Christ has brought us Heaven’s choices
Heavenly music let it ring
Alleluia, alleluia
Easter People let us sing

Fear of death can no more stop us
From our pressing here below
For our Lord empowered us
To Triumph over every foe
Alleluia, alleluia
On to victory now we go

It has been over a week since we gathered together and celebrated Easter. It was a wonderful day as people gathered to worship our risen Lord and Savior. Since that day people have returned to their busy schedules. The stores have replaced the candy and baskets with their summer displays. The demands of life have slowly begun to overshadow that beautiful day of worship. It is easy to see how quickly Easter fades in our memory as we move further and further away from that Sunday.

As quickly as our society moves from one moment to the next, it is easy to see why Easter often becomes just another day on the calendar. As Christians, Easter is much more than a day of celebration, a special Sunday on the calendar. Easter is the defining moment of our faith. It not only gives us a day of celebration, Easter gives us joy, peace and hope as we see clearly that, “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39) That assurance provides us a foundation for our faith that leads us daily in our lives.

William James understood that Easter was far more than just a one day celebration. James was United Methodist Pastor who served the people of Brooklyn for many years. He was a pastor, leader and hymn writer. In order to help his congregation worship and clearly communicate what Easter means to us, William James wrote the great hymn “Easter People, Raise Your Voices.” This hymn was published in 1981. The lyrics of this song serve as a reminder that the effects of Easter do not fade with time, but defines us on a daily basis. Easter is not just one day in the midst of a busy year, Easter is the loving work of God that moves us on to “victory.”

We are not a people who have a holiday called Easter. As St. Augustine said so long ago, “We are Easter people, and alleluia is our song.” I hope today you go forward, an Easter people, celebrating and sharing God’s great love for the world.

Rev. Keith King, Online Campus Pastor