Church · community · faith · Jesus · Worship

He Is Risen Indeed, Alleluia!

It’s Easter Day. For me the most important day in the Christian Year. It’s a declaration that God is unwilling to take our ‘no’ for an answer. With Jesus, it is always yes. An unconditional ‘yes’ to be with us.

This morning we met with some friends and their two young children to walk up Robinswood Hill. The hill is just a mile or so from where we live, and from the top you gt a 360 degree view taking in the city of Gloucester and the surrounding countryside.

We had decided to get to the top in time for sunrise just after 6.30. We met in the car park, with the darkness already beginning to fade as the pre-dawn light became stronger.

It’s a 200 metre climb – quite a task for Steve with a two year old on his back, and pretty challenging for their five year old. But we made it in time for the sunrise, and got ready for a short act of worship for Easter Day. Another friend joined us at the last minute. He phoned us from the car park, 200 metres below us.
‘Where are you ?’
‘We’re at the top. We’ll see you in about 15 minutes’

So finally, we were all there, and shared a communion of croissants and hot chocolate, with a song and some prayers, and the familar Easter shout:
Alleluia, Christ is risen
He is risen indeed, Alleluia.
Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
He has given us new life and hope by raising Jesus from the dead
Alleluia, Christ is risen
He is risen indeed, Alleluia.

As we started to sing ‘Thine be the Glory’ at the end of our short service, a couple who had just got to the top of the hill came and joined us. I don’t know what the dog walker and the few others who were there for the sunrise thought, but we gave it our best as we sang that great Easter hymn.

Over the last 35 years or so, we’ve nearly always done something similar. From a hill in North Yorkshire, to a nature reserve in Hertfordshire, via Beverley in East Yorkshire, where one year we had snow! There’s something very special about celebrating the resurrection as the sun comes up.

When we got home, I came across this song in one of my prayer books. It seemed to echo our early morning gathering, and sums up for me a lot of what our faith is all about. Here’s a translation below and a link to the song here

“Vamos todos al banquete “

Let us go now to the banquet, to the feast of the universe —
the table’s set and a place is waiting.

I will rise in the early morning; the community’s waiting for me.
With a spring in my step I’m walking with my friends and my family.

God invites all the poor and hungry to the banquet of justice and good —
where the harvest will not be hoarded so that no one will lack for food.

May we build a place among us where all people are equal in love —
For God has called us to work together and to share everything we have.

translated version of “Vamos Todos Al Banquete” written by Guillermo Cuéllar
and commissioned by Msgr. Oscar Romero for the Misa Popular Salvadoreña

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