Remember Christmas in July? Apparently it started at a North Carolina Summer Camp. But it is easy to understand why it caught on, at least for marketers and those of Northern European origin living in the Southern Hemisphere. Christmas makes a lot of money for retailers, and people equate winter with Christmas in the Northern Hemisphere.
But part of me wants to take another sacred time and remember it too at an odd part of the year. September is a part of the year that has new beginnings, even if it doesn't get quite the fuss that New Year gets. So it shares something with Spring in that way, another time where new life is surrounding us. That concept of new life is probably a good reason Easter is celebrated in the spring- Easter is the resurrection after all.
But we live in a culture of death. We don't always see new life. As I am preparing for a class at St. Paul's, Water, Spirit, Body, Blood, I am thinking a lot about new life. In doing so I am reminded of one of my favorite hymns, No. 307, Christ is Risen. It may not get a lot of air time at your house, but you may recall the tune. It is the same as Infant Holy, Infant Lowly. Yes, that's right, the Christmas Carol. New birth is an important theme of the new song, birth in the midst of death. That is the message of Easter, isn't it?
Look at one of the lines:
Christ is risen! Earth and Heaven never more shall be the same/Break the bread of new creation where a world is still in pain/ Tell its grim, demonic chorus: "Christ is risen! Get you gone!"/ God the First and Last is with us/Shout Hosanna everyone!
There are so many exclamation points in this song! But don't you love that line, "Tell its grim, demonic chorus: "Christ is risen! Get you gone!" I love it because it so boldly stands up to evil present in this world.
There is evil present in this world, but Christ defeated evil and we get to shout it down!