I wrote a post a few years ago about “The Perfect Christmas” and how disappointed we are when our celebration doesn’t meet whatever criteria makes it perfect in our estimation. I compared that to the first Christmas, which was so different from ours: a tired couple, a crowded city, no decorations, no Christmas cookies, unexpected unusual visitors. Yet that first Christmas produced our Savior.
I feel the same about Easter this year. For most of us, this Easter is a stripped-down version of our usual celebrations. What’s usually one of the most special services of the year will be on Zoom or YouTube. We probably won’t wear new clothes for it. We’ll have a good dinner and Easter baskets, but without extended family.
Yet, as As Gretchen Ronnevik tweeted, “Maybe huddling together as a small group of disciples in a home, wondering what God is doing, and what will happen next, and where do we go from here… is the most Easter-y of all Easter things to do.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the way we celebrate Easter now, but they didn’t have all those things the first Easter. Yet that Easter changed the world and the ones who first heard and told of it. Maybe our circumstances this year will help us refocus our attention on the reality, the miracle, the joy of it all.
Music is one my my main ways of feeding my soul truth. I shared some of my favorite songs about Christ’s death for us a few days ago, and I wanted to share some of my favorite Easter songs today.
For decades now, The Majesty and Glory of the Resurrection CD by Tom Fettke and Billy Ray Hearn has been has been my Easter morning breakfast-making companion. I love using that time to think about what the day means and to prepare my heart for the service. I like the mix of old and new and the majestic way they handle the music. The songs cover the death of Christ as well the big picture of Who God is. I think if you click here, the whole album automatically plays. But the individual tracks are on YouTube, and the album is available on iTunes.
This is one of my favorites from that album, especially “The Strife Is Over” and the second “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”
This is a medley of four different hymns:
I never heard “The Easter Song” by Annie Herring until I found it on the end of the above medley, and I was struck by the pure joy of it. I’m glad the Eversons recorded the whole thing:
“Weep No More,” to the tune of the folk song, “Down By the Sally Gardens,” is on the Pettit’s CD Higher Ground:
“The One Who Lives Again is a new one by Matt Collier and Matt Taylor of the Wilds Christian Camp (words here):
He Is Risen is also on the Wilds Camp’s “Risen” CD, but I can’t find who wrote it.
“Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed” by Keith & Kristyn Getty:
Many songs cover both the crucifixion and resurrection. “Mercy Tree,” mentioned last time, is one.
And, of course, there are multitudes more.
I hope you can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and all it means whether alone in your kitchen, with your family, and/or virtually with your church.
Happy Easter! He is risen!