Seven years ago last month we moved to Nashville. After we got the truck unloaded and spent a week settling in with help from family, Easter was upon us. To me Easter meant music. What was I going to do for my Easter music in this new place? One crossroad in our end of town sports three large churches, one of them Baptist, which was our background. A Baptist church ought to have good Easter music, I reasoned, so that’s where we showed up on Palm Sunday.
I was right. The choir was “classic” and impressive, but the special music took my breath away. A talented young tenor, in costume, performed “Watch the Lamb!” I was hooked. We returned the next Sunday, and a man and woman, both with powerful voices, sang the Mary Magdalene song titled “I’ve just seen Jesus.” Except for worshipping with our son’s family at their church from time to time, we’re still where we started out.
Last Sunday that same tenor, a few years older now and the father of a little girl, was part of a breathtaking male quartet that sang the Gaither song, “I Believe in a Hill Called Mount Calvary.” We were delighted when they sang it again last evening at our Good Friday service. I think the Gaithers outdid themselves in “poetic” with the line about “And when time has surrendered and earth is no more, I’ll still cling to that old rugged cross”!
At least two other Gaither songs have powerful messages for the Easter season. I’ve long loved the dramatic one about the crucifixion, with the chorus, “It…is…finished, the battle is over…” ending with “It is finished, and Jesus is Lord.” The first words of the second verse have gripped my heart afresh these last two days:
“But in my heart the battle was raging; not all prisoners of war had come home. There were battlefields of my own making—I didn’t know that the war had been won.”
Someone in our extended family is right now in the clutches of battlefields of his own making and doesn’t seem able to grasp that the war has been won. It gives me a new perspective for praying for him.
I can’t mention Gaither music and Easter without including “Because He Lives.” If you don’t know the story of how Bill and Gloria wrote it in connection with the birth of their third baby, you need to look it up. We used it at the last two funerals in our family, but it’s message is so much broader. No matter what the turmoil around us these days—personally, nationally, or any other dimension, we can face tomorrow because our Savior lives. Knowing that He holds the future makes our lives worth living—tomorrow and all the days beyond.
Here is just one of several websites about the Gaithers: http://www.praisegathering.com/Site/9/