“Alleluia! Christ is Risen!”
“Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!”
With one week left to shout our Easter alleluias, we continue our cries of joy! This week, we hear Jesus talk to his disciples about abiding in love. We may think of the servant-love of Jesus in many situations, but John’s call here seems to guide us toward the love shared among friends. That deep mutual relationship we share with one another is yet another model for how God dwells with us in Christ. Mutual love and laying down one’s life for one’s friends becomes our model for daily life, a model that is not hierarchical but is instead, walking with one another.
Here are our appointed readings for this week for you to read and meditate on as you prepare your hearts for worship this weekend.
The Spirit poured out on the Gentiles
Shout with joy to the Lord, all you lands
1 John 5:1-6
The victory of faith
Christ the friend and lover
Music this week sings our joy at the resurrection with Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee, that great song penned by Beethoven. The text Beethoven wrote this song for imagined a society built upon a vision of mutual love and respect. While Beethoven’s lyrics would have adopted a somewhat non-religious tone, we sing a text that makes very clear that God is the author of our joy. This week, we also sing Christ Is Alive! Let Christians Sing where, in the fourth verse, we talk about the non-hierarchical message of Jesus, “Women and men, in age and youth, can feel the Spirit, hear the call, and find the way, the life, the truth, revealed in Jesus, freed for all.”
Mutual love and non-hierarchical systems are difficult to embody. In your life, what do you need to work on to help support this vision of society? How should the church accomplish this? What messages can the church share with the rest of society to help spread the love of Jesus as a model for society?