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HYMN FOR EASTER Solen på Himmelen lukket sit øye/I Come to the Garden Alone

Text: Petter Dass Tune: Ansbach 1644 1. High in the heavens the Sun could not face it, Closing its eye to the shame of the cross. Nature stood by at these double disgraces, Darkness eclipsing the day over us. Then Easter Sunday, we saw reappearing Two glorious suns whose great loss we’d been fearing Hallelujah! Hallelujah! 2. After this sorrow we now are uplifted, Rainstorms are ended; the sun shines again. We name and praise you, the Lord who has given Joy with your rising. We see you have been Son of the Highest come here to redeem us So we can praise you the Son who reclaims us R/ 3. God does not reckon the days that we number Three days, and then he arose from the grave, Only those days in the darkness to slumber, No time, compared to eternity’s day. Joyfully we will with Jesus be buried; So we with Jesus forever can tarry R/ 4. Never do grains lie in earth without growing Soon we will see them arise from the earth. Though they are covered by winter’s fresh snowing Soon they will blossom, their glory burst forth When Christ will raise us that morning we’re bidden From the dark earth where our bodies are hidden, R/ 5. Just as the whale cast up Jonah on dry land, So shall the earth give up all of its dead. Since you, My Savior, rose up from the darkness, I shall be raised and go home where you led. Where there are roots that have grown into branches Fruitful and blest for the life you have granted. R/ Tr. Gracia Grindal Text and Tune: Charles Austin Miles (1868 – 1946) 1 I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses. R/And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known. 2 He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing. R/ 3 I'd stay in the garden with Him
Tho' the night around me be falling;
But He bids me go; thro' the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling. R/ REFLECTIONS Two very different hymns on Easter, one by Petter Dass, a pastor in Norway, another by C. Austin Miles, an American, who wrote the very popular Gospel song, long derided by church musicians. Petter Dass was Norway’s great hymn writer. His hymns are filled with imagery of the North Sea and the land around him. His language is vivid and often astonishing. This hymn—in the original some twenty-three stanzas—is from Dass’ collection of hymns on Luther’s Catechism, this one on the Apostles Creed “Descended into hell and on the third day rose again from the dead.” Dass portrays Jesus as the Lion of Judah breaking into the portals of Hell, Harrowing hell, or like a “Heavenly Samson” tearing down the pillars in Gaza. Or David killing the lion with his bare hands or Goliath with a stone to his forehead. Dass uses Biblical types to show how Jesus is part of that story. This version of the hymn begins with the 18th stanza. Magnus Brostrup Landstad, the hymnal compiler of the 19th century in Norway, edited it to contain basically the last five stanzas of Dass’ hymn. He leaves off the harrowing of hell and goes directly to the resurrection of Jesus. Here Dass meditates on the double griefs of Good Friday—Nature stands in double disgrace seeing the cross and the darkness at noon, but also the double joy in the two suns of Easter--nature's sun and Jesus, the sun. Our own death and resurrection are like seeds dying in order to live, or even like Jonah, whom the fish spit up on to dry ground. We will be like branches growing on the tree. C. Austin Miles, in his hymn, “In the Garden,” depicts what the resurrection was like for Mary Magdalene, thinking her friend and Redeemer had been taken away, and then to hear his voice, and realize he is risen. Her joy shows us the joy we have in the resurrection. Because of its country western sound, and its language of love, the hymn has many detractors, but still remains at the top of the charts. The notion that Christ is our bridegroom and we all are his brides is deeply set in Scripture. Some scholars read the Bible as the story of God’s courtship of his people from Eden into eternity. Heaven, after all, is described as a wedding feast, the bridegroom welcoming home his bride, the church, to the banquet. For many this image is embarrassing. While I can understand that—the erotic language of the Bride of Christ is vivid—and yet, why should we not use the imagery of our closest human relationship, that of the bride and groom, to describe our relationship with Jesus? Weddings are new beginnings, two individuals now share each other's lives and destinies. So it is with our life in Christ. And even at its most joyful and sublime, this relationship is barely enough to describe what joy we will receive when Jesus meets us beside the tomb and calls us back into life. It will be “a joy that none other has ever known.” The poet and preacher struggle to preach the resurrection, hoping to revive our faith in it. At their best they have to use stories or hyperbole to get us to see Easter is more than flowers blooming in the spring, but something utterly new. John Updike's poem "Seven Stanzas at Easter" goes right after how we trivialize Easter into natural, or spiritualistic imagery. No, he says, "Make no mistake: if He rose at all/it was as His body." He goes on: "Let us not mock God with metaphor,/analogy, sidestepping, transcendence/ Making of the event a parable...." He ends admonishing us not to be "embarrassed by the miracle." Today as we sing with joy that Christ is risen, remember that nothing you hear or sing or say can come close to the joy we will know because of his resurrection. The fact is Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! HYMN INFO For more on Dass click here: The tune is from Ansbach1644 and associated with the Freylinghausen hymnal of 1703 . C. Austin Miles, a pharmacist who turned to writing Gospel songs, many of them, wrote both text and tune which is the most popular of all Gospel songs today. LINKS Solen på himmelen lukket sitt øye/Oslo Domkor SKRUK Variations on tune "Lobe den Herren" In the Garden Thisisredz/Piano Mahalia Jackson Elvis Presley

HYMN FOR EASTER Solen på Himmelen lukket sit øye/I Come to the Garden Alone
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