This week’s Season in Song Easter edition is “Jesus Lives, the Victory’s Won” (LSB 490) and was chosen by Eurasia Business Manager Rick Sovitzky, who is based in The Czech Republic. The hymn was recorded by Rev. Dr. Christopher S. Ahlman, and the video was produced by Rick Steenbock.
–By Elizabeth Ahlman
- Jesus lives! For me He died,
Hence will I, to Jesus living,
Pure in heart and act abide,
Praise to Him and glory giving.
All I need God will dispense;
This shall be my confidence!
This beautiful hymn reminds us of all the things that happen as a result of Jesus’ resurrection and His continued resurrected life. Jesus lives, and therefore everything has changed. Verse three focuses in on the way that Jesus’ life and His dying for us transforms us. Not only, as the rest of the hymn proclaims, does it mean that we live when we should die, that death can longer prevail, that we will live and reign with Christ in heaven and more, but also that here in this life “pure in heart and act abide,/Praise to Him and glory giving.” As St. Paul writes in one of the portions of Scripture on which this hymn is based:
For the love of Christ controls us, because we have concluded this: that one has died for all, therefore all have died; and he died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised (2 Corinthians 5:14-15 ESV).
As Baptized children of God we are brought into the death of Christ. We all die — to self, to sin and to our worldly yearnings. We die so that we may no longer live for ourselves but for Him who died for us. And it is God Himself who “dispenses” all that we need to live in this manner — to be pure in heart and act. By bringing us into His death, Christ brings us into the cruciform life, a life that is in service to our neighbor and in praise to our God.
What does this look like? It looks natural and flows out of our vocations. As mothers and fathers we serve our children in the day-to-day tasks of driving the carpool and changing the diaper. As children we serve our our parents by honoring and obeying them and by caring for them when they are old. As employees we serve our neighbors by performing our jobs well, obeying our employer and working with our fellow employees. As a grocery store clerk we serve our neighbors by helping them purchase their groceries. As church members we serve our neighbors by building one another up in the body of Christ, helping when help is needed.
As the Church, one way we serve our neighbors is through caring for their bodily needs alongside proclaiming the Gospel to them. We serve them by engaging in Mercy. In the mission field, this often looks like Mobile Medical Vans dispensed to places where no modern medical help can be found, or where people cannot otherwise afford to see a doctor. It may look like the food pantry in your church, or the shopping cart in the Narthex where you gather perishables to take to the local soup kitchen.
In all of this, the people of God and the Church itself lives a cruciform life of service and Mercy only because Jesus lives in and through us. All we need to live this life in which we die to self is dispensed by God Himself. Easter transforms because Jesus lives and has won the victory over death, sin, the devil and the world. Jesus lives and brings us into that life in which we live not to ourselves, but to Him. He lives and dispenses His grace and Mercy to us, in us and through us to others.
Let Us Pray: Heavenly Father, You dispense all that we need for our daily lives from bread to eat to the ability to serve our neighbors; continue to mold us to the cruciform life of Your Son that we may die to self and live for Him by loving those around us; through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, Who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
- Please pray for Rick Sovitzky as he serves the region through his talents, and for safe travels when he visits workers.
- Please note the following credits for the recording used in the video: Hauptwerk: This non-commercial production, legal by virtue of product purchase, was made possible in part by Hauptwerk Virtual Pipe Organ instrument software. © 2014 Milan Digital Audio LLC. All rights reserved.Organ Art Media: The use of the 1686/1720 Bosch/F. C. Schnitger organ for this non-commercial production was made possible by the gracious permission of Prof. Helmut Maier. © 2014 OrganArt Media 2006 Kusterdinger Straße 48 D-72827 Wannweil. All rights reserved.
© 2015 Christopher S. Ahlman. All rights reserved.