Seventh Sunday of Easter
May 24, 1998
|Acts 16:16-34||Captivity in service to man; freedom in service to God||203: Hail to the
421: Make Me a Captive, Lord
|Psalm 97||The awesome power of God||578: God of Love and God
698: God of the Ages
|John 17:20-26||Christ prays for unity of His followers||444: O Young and Fearless
561: Jesus, United by Thy Grace
566: Blest Be the Dear Uniting Love
|Revelation 22:12-14, 16-17, 20-21||Christ is coming again||196: Come, Thou Long-Expected
380: There's Within My Heart a Melody
573: O Zion, Haste
Words and music by Luther B. Bridgers
Tune name: SWEETEST NAME
At my home right now it's spring! There are beautiful days with clear skies. There are rainy days with cool showers (and thunderstorms, too!). There are flowers and blossoms and birds, and all of creation is shouting God's glory. It makes me smile every time I walk outside, and a tune just seems to jump into my mind.
I can't really explain it. It just happens. Sometimes it's a tune from a musical; sometimes it's a tune from the radio. More often than not, though, it is a tune from the church. Sometimes I hum; sometimes I whistle; sometimes I keep it to myself (especially if people start giving me funny looks). There is just something about spring that cries out for a happy tune. Maybe, just maybe, it has something to do with the renewal of life all around us, and our ability to enjoy that renewal.
Renewal of life! It is a major theme of the church, especially during these weeks of the Easter season when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Just as spring brings renewal of life in creation, Easter brings renewal of life in the Spirit.
Think about your memories of Easter. There is the story of the resurrection, and there is music. Think about the people you have seen after Easter worship. They have smiles, and they have songs.
Luther Burgess Bridgers (1884-1948) captured the smile and the song in the words and music of this week's featured hymn. Born in North Carolina, Bridgers was ordained a Methodist minister and worked as an evangelist in the southeastern United States. What a great song for an evangelist to share! The second verse tells the story of many who have come to know Christ:
All my life was wrecked by sin and strife, discord filled my heart with pain; Jesus swept across the broken strings, stirred the slumbering chords again.
Like creation in the spring, our hearts can be stirred and a melody can be brought back into our lives through Christ. May your heart be filled with joyful melodies this Easter season.
God bless you--
|Passages suggested are from The Revised Common Lectionary: Consultation on Common Texts (Abingdon Press, 1992) copyright © by the Consultation on Common Texts (CCT), P.O. Box 340003, Room 381, Nashville TN 37203-0003. Reprinted with permission of CCT.|