The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at musicandthespokenword.org.
This encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word has been specially selected for airing while the Choir and Orchestra are practicing social distancing. It contains a new Spoken Word written and delivered by Lloyd Newell.
Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Clay Christiansen
Announcer: Lloyd Newell
“Hallelujah Chorus”1 from Christ on the Mount of Olives
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven
Lyrics: Franz Xaver Huber; trans. Rev. John Troutbeck
“Jesus Has Risen”2
Music: Thelma Johnson Ryser
Lyrics: Thelma Johnson Ryser; additional lyrics by Ryan Murphy
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy
“Morning Mood” from Peer Gynt Suite (organ solo)
Music: Edvard Grieg; transcribed by Clay Christiansen
“Since by Man Came Death”3 from Messiah
Music: George Frideric Handel
Lyrics: I Corinthians 15:21-22
“Consider the Lilies of the Field”4
Music and Lyrics: Roger Hoffman
Arrangement: A. Laurence Lyon
“Hail the Day That Sees Him Rise”
Music: Robert Williams
Lyrics: Charles Wesley
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg
The Spoken Word
The Hope and Promise of Easter
If hope had a season of its own, a day on the calendar, it might very well be Easter. No matter what yesterday may have been like, Easter cheerfully says, “Tomorrow will be better.” Even the worst storms eventually pass. Even the coldest winters eventually thaw. Even the longest nights give way to the light of dawn. That is the promise of Easter.
Why is Easter such a hopeful time? Is it because, in much of the world, Easter is associated with springtime? Surely it isn’t a coincidence that Easter comes as signs of new life are just starting to bud and blossom all around us. Easter, like spring, gives us something hopeful to look forward to.
But Easter is about more than just new flowers and warmer temperatures. Easter’s promise is much bolder than that. It answers the question posed long ago by Job, a God-fearing man in the Old Testament who knew about personal darkness, coldness, and storms. “If a man die,” he asked, “shall he live again?” Easter responds with eagerness, “Yes!” because the central figure of Easter is the One who declared, “I am the resurrection, and the life.” Death is the one foe that no one escapes, but He conquered it. And because He did, there is no challenge of life that cannot be overcome.
When we imagine that first Easter morning, we rightfully picture sunshine and beautiful, clear skies. But it’s worth remembering that “it was yet dark” when Mary first went to the garden tomb. Soon the sun would rise, as it always does. And soon the Lord, the Light of the World, would appear to illuminate her soul, as He always does. But first, Mary had to take a few steps in the darkness.
What she found was a miracle, an empty tomb, and the sweetest words ever spoken: “He is not here: for he is risen.” Mary came looking for her Lord and found hope. Where she thought she would find death, she found Life. This is why Easter means hope—because of Him, because of His promise of life everlasting.
When life seems empty and confusing, when the world seems dark and uncertain, remember the hope of Easter. When you worry and wonder how to carry on, remember the promise of Easter. Always, there is hope.