Rise, O Church

Who we are as the body of Christ is marked not by worldly strength, or size, or power – but it is clearly made manifest by the love that we spread into the world…

Rise, O church, like Christ arisen, from this meal of love and grace; may we through such love envision whose we are, and whose, our praise. Alleluia, alleluia: God, the wonder of our days.

I was first introduced to this communion hymn through  the Worship and Music Conference of Montreat Conference Center several years ago. Written at the height of the 1990s, when the church was in a full up-swing, the trinitarian verses of this piece speak of how God has invited us to be the church in the world.

Though things have changed rather drastically from 1997, the words still ring true. They speak of love of God, the holiness of our lives in Christ, God’s providence through the Holy Spirit, and our vocation in the world. It is profound to consider how these truths were accurate twenty years ago. It is truly striking to think they have been accurate for over two thousand years (and many even longer in the history of God’s people).

Who we are as the body of Christ is marked not by worldly strength, or size, or power – but it is clearly made manifest by the love that we spread into the world.

May we find God’s path ahead and may this hymn be our invocation for the journey:

Rise, transformed, and choose to follow after Christ, through wounded, whole; broken, shared, our lives are hallowed to release and to console. Alleluia, alleluia; Christ, our present, past, and goal.

Rise, remember well the future God has called us to receive; present by God’s loving nurture, Spirited then let us live. Alleluia, alleluia: Spirit, grace by whom we live.

Service be our sure vocation; courage be our daily breath; mercy be our destination from this day and unto death. Alleluia, alleluia: Rise, O church, a living faith.

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