Forth he came at Easter like the risen grain, he that for three days in the grave had lain; raised from the dead, my living Lord is seen; love is come again like wheat arising green.
(— Text from Oxford Book of Carols, © Oxford University Press 1928. All rights reserved. Used by permission.)
What I like about the hymn quoted above and what I like about the church year is that the wheat rises from the ground and Jesus is raised from the dead and the whole process is out of our control. We cannot force the seed to germinate and take root and we cannot force the resurrection to germinate and take root in the lives of God’s people. It is a process in God’s hands. We may have moments where we try to manipulate the process but it is not ours to control!
This is comforting to me and something for which I can say, “Thanks be to God!” I don’t know about you but sometimes life feels like a juggling competition to keep as many balls in the air as possible. But what this hymn reminds me of is the things that I cannot and do not have to juggle.
This is God’s work and God can do so much better than me! This is what I hear when we sing that last line, “love is come again like wheat arising green.” God is in control and God’s love comes to us as sure as the wheat will rise once more, as sure as the sun will rise in the morning.
The words we speak during the season of Easter are: Alleluia! Christ is Risen; Christ is Risen indeed, Alleluia! And this serves as our reminder that Easter isn’t a one day celebration. In fact, every Sunday is considered a little Easter which is why Sunday doesn’t count against the number of days in Lent. But that’s another story! We live each day in the promise that Christ is risen; we live each day knowing that love will come again; we live each day knowing that “if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” And so Easter isn’t just about what God has done but it is about what God continues to do. God continues to raise us to new life, each and every day.