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The words to the powerful modern Easter hymn, Christ Has Risen While Earth Slumbers, are these:

Christ has risen while Earth slumbers; Christ has risen where hope died,
as he said and as he promised, as we doubted and denied.
Let the moon embrace the blessing; let the sun sustain the cheer;
Let the world confirm the rumor: Christ is risen, God is here!

Christ has risen for the people whom he died to love and save;
Christ has risen for the women bringing flowers to his grave.
Christ has risen for disciples huddled in an upstairs room.
He whose word inspires creation can’t be silenced by the tomb.

Christ has risen and forever lives to challenge and to change
all whose lives are messed or mangled, all who find religion strange.
Christ is risen, Christ is present, making us what he has been:
evidence of transformation in which God is known and seen.

This hymn reminds us that the Easter parade isn’t a showy pageant but a march of ragtag people sometimes in step but more often out of step; a journey that includes those who have it together and those who have no idea what’s happening. Easter’s refrain is for those “whose lives are messed or mangled” and “all who find religion strange," and for the certain and the uncertain alike.

The first Easter began in fear: a day in which the lives of those who followed Jesus were messed and mangled; a day of mourning and sadness and uncertainty. When the news arrived that the tomb where his body had been placed was empty, some could not believe it – the news about Jesus’ resurrection was just too strange. What began in fear is transformed into joy when he appeared to the disciples and became their good news to us two thousand years later.

Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!

Blessings, Edward