May 1, 2022
Dear Kind and Gentle People,
Christ is risen! Alleluia! Risen our victorious head!
Sing his praises! Alleluia! Christ is risen from the dead!
It was in 1994, working in a Lutheran church outside Philadelphia, that I first learned this old hymn by John S. B, Monsell. The “Old Guard” insisted that it be included as “tradition.” Henceforth, the simple refrain has been taken advantage of by yours truly as an introit or gospel acclamation and printed on colorful Easter paper (thankfully it is public domain), complete with brass, timpani and naturally crash cymbals. Still almost 30 years later the 9-bar refrain rattles my inner hearing at most surprising times.
During this season of Eastertide, we will hear about good old doubting Thomas, preposterous thundering from the book of Revelation, the good Shepherd, a new heaven and a new earth, the ascension and of course liberation. These topics of the lectionary year C and season of Easter make it clear that the function of the Resurrection life is restoration of relationship and deep forgiveness.
Sometimes we forget that our Creator is available 24/7 with no barriers and devoid of a secret formula. We are challenged to live as though the resurrection truly illumines us. We are called to seek peace and reconciliation and be in fellowship with one another while on our earthly journey. As the season of Eastertide unfolds with its amazing stories and powerful witness, might you please allow yourself to be open to a change of heart. The Holy One is present in all things and is simply waiting for you to present the comely and not so comely parts of yourself. In short, you are going to be loved “Warts and All.”
Gobs of blessings and heaps of happiness.
Rev. Dr. Peter Stickney, Chaplain
P.S. Hope you got some yummy Easter Candy and gobbled it up! P.P.S. The photo is of the tiny Newfield Community Church on Easter.
UCC Musicians Association
P.O. Box 370631
West Hartford, CT 06137
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