The Easter Sunday worship with the Columbia Church of Christ was wonderful. They’re all wonderful but as a preacher, there is something about knowing that I’ll be preaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday. In all the excitement I forgot the digital recorder at home, so there is no recording of my sermon (that happens…and life goes on).
Any ways, my sermon “Easter’s Promise: Victory” was based on 1 Corinthians 15:50-57. I spoke about the courage that the Easter promise based on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ gives us the ability to live by faith rather than in fear of sin and death.
One of the stories I told was that of Henry Francis Lyte who had the courage to face his own illness and eventual death by faith. Lyte was a pastor for a small church in the fishing town of Devonshire, England during the 19th century, where he was diagnosed with tuberculosis.
With his health seriously deteriorating, on September 4, 1847, Lyte preached what would be his final sermon not long before he passed away. Later that afternoon this Pastor wrote the words to what is now known as the hymn Abide With Me (which drew some from 1 Corinthians 15:55). Here is three of the stanzas that Lyte wrote:
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens; Lord with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away. Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless; Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness. Where is death’s sting? Where, grave thy victory? I triumph still, if Thou abide with me
Here is a clip of the choral group Libera singing this beloved hymn:
In an unrelated matter, I wrote an article for New Wineskins titled “The Foolishness of Believing”. Click here if you would like to read the article.