Sing, all you Christians!
Easter is the feast of the resurrection of the Lord. It is the principal feast in the liturgical calendar of Christian churches. Easter is both commemoration and expectation, for Christ resurrected so that we too can resurrect.
Faith feels at home where rational thought no longer reaches. And when it comes to the resurrection, man must believe. The point is not to seek and analyse evidence like a modern profiler. However, neither can there be a resurrection according to our own terms. The Catechism of the New Apostolic Church therefore correctly states: “The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not wishful thinking on the part of His followers who sought to make future generations believe in a miracle. Nor is it an expression of mythological thinking. The resurrection of Christ is historical reality. It actually took place.” All the Churches agree on this point. And yet there have been controversial discussions about this miraculous event for centuries.
He is risen!
Already in Paul’s time there were discussions about this. Without the resurrection our faith is empty, meaningless, the Apostle says and points to today’s generation: “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Corinthians 15: 12–13, 17–20).
The tomb was empty!
The empty tomb was the starting-point for the Christian faith in the first place. Resurrection is a divine miracle, transcendental, supernatural, incomprehensible. It is the central saving event. Belief in the historical Jesus Christ without belief in the core notion, namely the resurrection, is not Christian. A theology that knows the historical Jesus but excludes the resurrection is shortsighted.
Why Christians sing about joy
There is this beautiful hymn in our hymnal that talks about the joy of Christians.
- “Sing, all you Christians, glad hymns of now be voicing! Praise bring the Lord who has died us to save! Sing till the echoes ring out with rejoicing; Jesus, arisen, has conquered the grave. Jesus, arisen, has conquered the grave.” (Hymnal 519, 1).
The first two verses of this Easter song will be sung by the congregation on Easter Sunday together with Chief Apostle Jean-Luc-Schneider. The text was written by Ernst Heinrich Gebhardt (1832–1899), who wrote many Christian hymns.
Ernst Heinrich Gebhardt was born in Ludwigsburg in Germany. At first he studied Chemistry and Pharmacy, later Agriculture and Forestry. But he was also gifted in languages and music. In 1851 he emigrated to Chile with relatives and started a farm there. Surviving a shipwreck and attending a divine service in a Methodist congregation shortly afterward changed his life fundamentally. In 1859 he began his studies in Germany to become a travelling preacher for the Methodist Church. He became the publisher, translator, and author of numerous songbooks and worked as an editor for several Methodist magazines. It was his aim to make the venerable German chorale a bit livelier, as he himself said. He was well known in his day as the singing Evangelist, and to this day many Christians still sing his hymns.
- “Peace unto you”, those are words great and glorious; also today does the Risen One call. Open the portals to all: ‘tis so wondrous, come to the Saviour, there’s peace for us all, come to the Saviour, there’s peace for us all” (Hymnal 66,2).
A blessed Easter
The Easter service with Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider will begin at 10 a.m. CEST and will be transmitted worldwide.
- Online divine service on
- Easter Sunday, 12 April 2020
- 10 a.m. CEST (the transmission starts at 9.45)
- With Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider
Neuapostolische Kirche International, Deutsch, https://bit.ly/naci_de
New Apostolic Church International, English, https://bit.ly/naci_en
Iglesia Nueva Apostólica Internacional, Español, https://bit.ly/naci_es
Eglise néo-apostolique Internationale, Français, https://bit.ly/naci_fr
May Easter 2020 be a feast of resurrection and peace for all!