“God Loved the World” (ELW 323)
1 God loved the world so that he gave
his only Son the lost to save,
that all who would in Him believe
should everlasting life receive.
2 Christ Jesus is the ground of faith,
who was made flesh and suffered death;
all who confide in Christ alone
are built on this chief cornerstone.
3 If you are ill, if death draws near,
this truth your troubled heart can cheer:
Christ Jesus rescues us from death;
that is the firmest ground of faith.
4 Be of good cheer, for God’s own Son
forgives all sins that you have done,
and justified by Jesus’ blood,
your baptism grants the highest good.
5 All glory to the Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit, Three in One!
To you, O blessed Trinity,
be praise now and eternally!
According to the church calendar, Sundays are not actually part of the calculations of the 40 days of the Lenten season. Sunday remains as always a reminder of Easter—a celebration of the Resurrection of our Lord—Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! So perhaps it is fitting on this day of Resurrection that we follow the movement of our theme hymn. Though in its center verses it reflects on Jesus’ incarnation and death, and upon baptism as our link with Jesus’ death, at the beginning and end, it dwells in Resurrection themes. At the beginning we hear the good news that God loved the world, and that through faith in him we receive everlasting life. And at the end of the hymn, the story of salvation invites us to join in singing to the praise and glory of God, much as we might do once again on the day of Resurrection when we celebrate the end of our Lenten journey.
God of grace and glory, let our songs and imaginations raise to sing your praises for your love you have shown to all your creation in the gift of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.