Note to My Readers: from mid-June to mid-August (6/18 - 8/20), I will be taking a summer break from posting new articles for my Thursday and Friday slots. This will only affect my Thursday series on the global growth of Christianity, and my Friday series, the "Theological Bestiary" of birds, both of which will resume in late August. During the summer, I'll be dusting off some of my best essays from the first few years of this blog (a decade ago), as well as my verse play "Thus Ends the World," and re-posting them in the Thursday and Friday slots. All other weekdays will continue to feature new material throughout the summer.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter Hymn: "Praise the Name of Christ Our Savior"

In the past couple years, I've tried my hand at writing hymns (you can see a few other examples here). This is the first Easter hymn I've ever written, but I'm pleased with how it turned out. As with my Christmas hymn last year, I wanted to write one that included some of the rich vein of theological reflection that comes from the first few centuries of the church's history. This hymn, then, looks at the sacrifice of Christ and his resurrection as a recapitulation of the events of Eden (a favorite comparison of the early church fathers; in particular, the notion of the "eighth day" of creation is a common theme in patristic reflections on the resurrection). It runs to six verses, but for the sake of making it singable (or more accessible to the theological novice), some of the middle verses may be dropped if desired. It's written to the tune of the classic hymn "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." If you so choose, you can click on the video file below to hear it sung (I apologize for the audio quality in advance). I hope you enjoy it!

video


 Praise the Name of Christ Our Savior

Praise the name of Christ our Savior; he has triumphed o'er the grave!
God bestows on us his favor through the Lamb who came to save!
We delight in all his glories, endless God from Virgin's womb!
We with joy proclaim the stories of the cross and empty tomb!

On that cross, for our salvation, Jesus bore the cost of sin,
Taking death, the curse of Eden, so that we might enter in.
Now the tree of crucifixion is for us the tree of life,
And the serpent's insurrection has been crushed beneath his stride!

Jesus is our great Redeemer, Son of God and Son of Man;
Lion, Lamb, and holy leader, firstfruits of God's mighty plan!
He, as Adam, on the sixth day, forged a new humanity,
When he suffered on that Friday, re-creating you and me.

On the seventh day God rested, just as Christ lay in the grave.
And his body, where they left it, kept the holy Sabbath-day.
Then the eighth day, and the dawning of a great new work of God:
New Creation breaks upon us through our glorious, risen Lord!

Oh, the pow'r of his salvation, which transforms humanity!
For his holy resurrection also raises you and me!
God's own power, which raised Jesus, now is working here in us!
Granting freedom from the darkness, and new life to those who trust!

Hallelujah! Praise the Savior! He has triumphed over death!
We delight in God our Maker, who has endless pow'r to bless!
Just as Christ rose from the darkness, so one day we too shall rise:
Made like him, in holy gladness, we shall meet him in the skies!

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