A Celebration of Song
by Abby Kelly 4/14/2014 / Devotionals
When we read the Bible, it's easy to imagine the dusty streets that Jesus walked. Our minds can picture his disciples following him, fishing and learning to pray. But did you know that Jesus and His disciples sang together?
Immediately after the Lord's supper, only hours before Jesus was to be crucified, Matthew 26:30 tells us, "Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives."
These days, in many of our churches, we don't sing a lot of hymns. You don't hear them often on Christian radio. You are probably very familiar with modern choruses and praise songs, and those are wonderful! In fact, singing along and even dancing with joy in my kitchen is my favorite way to worship God.
But we shouldn't forget the old hymns! Many of them have very interesting stories behind them, and our faith can be strengthened as we learn about their authors.
So from now on, every other week here at, 'Tween Girls and God, I'm going to share some of the history and meaning behind my favorite hymns. We'll also talk about songs in general, and if you want to share any of your favorite songs with me, or ask a questions about a song, please do! You can contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since this coming Sunday is Easter, I thought we'd start off with a famous Easter song. Christ the Lord is Risen Today, was written by Charles Wesley in 1739over 250 years ago!
Wesley was a preacher in London and the number of people listening to him had grown so much that they needed a building. Wesley wrote, Christ the Lord is Risen Today, to celebrate the opening of the very first Wesleyan chapel, housed in an old foundry building.
Over the years, the song changed a little bit. A few lines were lost and one word was added. The way we sing the song today, every line ends with the word, "Alleluia!" Someone, we don't know who, added that word to help the lyrics fit the tune a little better.
The word "Alleluia" is the perfect word for Easter. It actually means, "Praise the Lord". In fact, the word has always been used by Christians to encourage each other to worship the Lord. One historian, living less than 400 years after Jesus, said that the very ceilings of churches and buildings shook when believers sang "Alleluia!", with all their heart.
This year, as your family celebrates Easter, read through this hymn together. You can find the words here. And you can hear the song here. When you get to the word, Alleluia, shout it as loud as you can! We are celebrating the most wonderful event in history! Jesus Christ is alive!