23 September 2007

Easter in the Green Season

I have come to view the 16th Sunday after Trinity (LSB One-Year Lectionary) as a little Easter in the middle of the Trinity Season (above and beyond the good ol' saying of "every Sunday, a little Easter," that is). Easter in the midst of the "green season" really hit me this morning as we sang our Entrance Hymn, "Thanks to Thee, O Christ, Victorious (LSB 548). I don't think that I have ever sung this hymn before, though the tune, Werde Munter, is certainly familiar. The hymn does not appear in Lutheran Worship, on which I cut my liturgical teeth, but it does show up in The Lutheran Hymnal (#207) as a full-blown Easter hymn. There it has six verses, but LSB trimmed that number in half (verses 2, 4, and 6 from the TLH version) and put the hymn under the "Redeemer" heading.

I find myself very fascinated in the phrase of verse 2: "Death itself is transitory." We normally think of things in this life as transitory (and rightly so!), but somehow we view death as more permanent. So, I love this little thumb poke in death's eye as we label it for what it truly is due to our Lord's saving works: "transitory." It ranks right up there with the great line from the evening hymn: "Teach me to live that I may dread The grave as little as my bed" (LSB 883:3).

So, here's some rejoicing in "Easter in the green season" via this hymn:

Thanks to Thee, O Christ, victorious!
Thanks to Thee, O Lord of Life!
Death hath now no power o'er us,
Thou hast conquered in the strife.
Thanks because Thou didst arise
And has opened paradise!
None can fully sing the glory
Of the resurrection story.

Thou has died for my transgression,
All my sins on Thee were laid;
Thou hast won for me salvation,
On the cross my debt was paid.
From the grave I shall arise
And shall meet Thee in the skies.
Death itself is transitory;
I shall lift my head in glory.

For the joy Thine advent gave me,
For Thy holy, precious Word;
For Thy Baptism, which doth save me,
For Thy blest Communion board;
For Thy death, the bitter scorn,
For Thy resurrection morn,
Lord, I thank Thee and extol Thee,
And in heav'n I shall behold Thee. (LSB 548)

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