Imagine living in Vienna in 1827, and attending the first performance of Beethoven’s 9
Symphony. Beethoven is the greatest composer, past or present; a celebrity on par with Tom Cruise and Lady Gaga today, and his amazing hymn to humanity, Ode to Joy, does NOT yet exist. You are about to hear its first ever performance. Today is quite different, the entire western world knows, sings, and plays the Ode to Joy. Google it and you get 26 million results.
I fell in love with this text below, singing it at a previous church. The link is to a performance at a huge congregation in Lincoln, NE.
Christ is risen shout Hosanna, celebrate this day of days.
Christ is risen hush in wonder, All creation is amazed.
In the desert all-surrounding, See a spreading tree has grown.
Healing leaves of grace abounding, Bring a taste of love unknown.
Christ is risen raise your spirits, From the caverns of despair.
Walk with gladness in the morning, See what love can do and dare.
Drink the wine of resurrection, Not a servant but a friend.
Jesus is our strong companion, Joy and peace shall never end.
Christ is risen earth and heaven, Nevermore shall be the same.
Break the bread of new creation, Where the world is still in pain.
Tell its grim demonic chorus, “Christ is risen, get you gone!”
God the First and Last is with us, Sing Hosanna everyone.
(CCLI Song # 5787887)
Imagine my excitement when I realized this text was in our ELW, #383! Imagine my dismay when I realized it was a totally different tune. Pity the guy who wrote it. How do you compete with Beethoven? The text is so joyful and full of good news, you can see why I prefer Beethoven’s tune. When were back together, that day will be a resurrection and we will sing this song together.
Director of Music & Worship