Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee (ELW 836)
1 Joyful, joyful we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of love!
Hearts unfold like flow’rs before thee,
praising thee, their sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness,
drive the gloom of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day.
2 All thy works with joy surround thee,
earth and heav’n reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee,
center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird, and flowing fountain
call us to rejoice in thee.
3 Thou art giving and forgiving,
ever blessing, ever blest,
well-spring of the joy of living,
ocean-depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother,
all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each other,
lift us to the joy divine!
Where do you find joy? I have been asking that question all week in the hope that all of us will take the time to look deep within our souls and capture the light coming to us from the Spirit. That gift illuminates all things and brings everything to the light. The dark tomb is opened, and we can joyfully exclaim, “Christ is risen, he is risen indeed! Alleluia!” Henry Van Dyke’s poem is icing on a magnificent Beethoven tune that helps us experience that God’s work of salvation is for all of creation. The Easter joy brings hope to all that God’s hand brought to existence. My tradition has sometimes taught me that we should be careful to check our emotions so as not to appear too exultant or triumphant. But I believe that during this season of Easter it is permitted to let the stops out and declare, “Joyful music leads us sunward, In the triumph song of life.”
Gracious, singing God, help us raise our voices in song, sometimes in harmony, sometimes in unison, but always in love to you and all of creation. Amen.