Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Lord Prepares a Banquet on This Mountain

I have been quite busy of late here in my parish with a series of funerals, four in the last six weeks.  Two were expected; two came quite suddenly.  Not too long ago, I wrote the Easter text below based on the Old Testament lesson for Easter, Isaiah 25:6-9.  This hymn text was inspired by the tune RED HILL ROAD by Carl Schalk, which may be found in Evangelical Lutheran Worship #760.  The third stanza is my favorite and gets to the heart of the matter with the promise of the final resurrection anchored securely in Christ, the firstfruits of the resurrection harvest. 

1.  The Lord prepares a banquet on this mountain,
        A feast of richest food and finest wine,
     That all who thirst may drink from mercy's fountain,
        That all who hunger here may freely dine:
     For Jesus wore our pall of sin with gladness;
        The veil is torn--the sacrifice complete.
     Now Christ has risen swallowing death's sadness--
        This is our God, whose life is death's defeat!

2.  God's saints and sages yearned for this salvation,
        To share the triumph of His saving grace:
     When God would wipe all sin from ev'ry nation,
        When He would dry all tears from ev'ry face.
     What joy was theirs who heard these words astounding:
        "He is not here; He's risen from the dead!"
     Loud alleluias from His tomb resounding,
        Tell us our death we need no longer dread.

3.  Still at our graves in silence we assemble,
        We know that what is sown will one day rise;
     Yet overcome by loss and grief we tremble,
        Sin's awful wage once more before our eyes:
     Here is the question--let us never fear it--
        "Can these bones live...though sight and sense deny?"
     Christ is God's "Yes!" and will through His own Spirit,
        To lifeless clay, breathe life that cannot die.

No comments: