He Is Risen!
“He is Risen!”. . .
. . .“He is Risen Indeed!”
This call and response has a long history dating back over 1000 years and over several continents. It has been a proclamation of hope through the good times and the bad. It has been shouted in times of peace and times of war, in health and in sickness, and in wealth and in poverty. Its truth is not dependent on current circumstances and is universal for all generations.
This corporate acknowledgement of the resurrection of Christ has been celebrated in the years of plagues, wars, genocides, and peace alike. Think of the worst event in history…“He is Risen” was confessed. Think of the most abundant time on record… “He is Risen Indeed” was chanted back. In the good times, it serves as a reminder of where real hope lies and corrects our pride, arrogance, and self-centeredness. In times of hardship, its message serves as an anchor for our fear, doubt, and grief, giving us a peace that passes all understanding.
In 1918, in the midst of World War I and the Spanish Flu pandemic, Helen Lemmel wrote a hymn that has stood the test of time, “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus”. She wrote it privately and it wasn’t publicly shared for four years; written in a time of despair and shared when things were much better. Like the Easter Chant, the truth is the same in both periods. Hope, joy, and peace are found only in the Resurrected Jesus!
“O soul are you weary and troubled? No light in the darkness you see? There’s light for a look at the Savior, And life more abundant and free.
Through death into life everlasting, He passed, and we follow Him there. Over us sin no more hath dominion, For more than conquerors we are.
His word shall not fail you, He promised,
Believe Him and all will be well. Then go to a world that is dying, His perfect salvation to tell.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.”
So, in 2020, we join with all humanity, past and present, and boldly declare, “He is Risen Indeed!”
– MORGAN GOLDEN