Easter Celebration

This Easter was my first one as a Youth Pastor and it was the first one where I helped with each service. I read Philippians 3:10-14 for each of the three services. It was a long morning but, you know what, it never really got old. I sat through the same church service three times and each time it felt like a celebration. Afterward, it was a cool feeling to have celebrated resurrection Sunday with almost all of my church family. Our pastor's sermon was my favorite I have ever heard him preach. It was all about Christ's victory over death (rather than the Penal Substitution language I got at the Evangelical church on Good Friday) and the new life we have in Christ. At one point he said something like, "this day is about doing away with the notion of a Roman or an American empire..." my kinda language... celebration indeed!

And we sang in celebration that great Hymn by Charles Wesley...
Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!
Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia!

Love's redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened paradise, Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Once he died our souls to save, Alleluia!
Where's thy victory, boasting grave? Alleluia!

Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like him, like him we rise, Alleluia!
Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!

Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia!
Praise to thee by both be given, Alleluia!
Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia!
Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia!

King of glory, soul of bliss, Alleluia!
Everlasting life is this, Alleluia!
Thee to know, thy power to prove, Alleluia!
Thus to sing, and thus to love, Alleluia!