Awake, My Heart, with Gladness

Awake, My Heart, with Gladness
Some years ago a man greeted me strangely as he exited the sanctuary on Sunday morning. He said, "This is the first time in years that I felt fully welcomed into worship." He said this not as an indictment, but as an act of praise. He was nearly giddy with this revelation. I would discover later that he had many reasons why he felt on the outside—many of which were warranted. Mental illness was a factor; so too, was the loss of loved ones. Some of it was, quite frankly, that the church had failed to be hospitable. But, whatever the reason, that Sunday something changed. His heart awoke with gladness. Where once there had been "gloom and sadness," a light now shone.

For all of us, such awakenings remind us that in entering into the darkness with us, our Savior invites us into the resurrected life in the pres

Jesus, awaken our hearts to the new life you give through your life, death and resurrection. Amen.
Awake, My Heart, with Gladness

Awake, my heart, with gladness,
see what today is done;
now, after gloom and sadness,
comes forth the glorious sun.
My Savior there was laid
where our bed must be made
when, as on wings in flight,
we soar to realms of light.

Now hell, its prince, the devil,
of all their pow'r are shorn;
now I am safe from evil,
and sin I laugh to scorn.
For Christ again is free;
in glorious victory
he who is strong to save
has triumphed o'er the grave.

This is a sight that gladdens—
what peace it does impart!
Now nothing ever saddens
the joy within my heart.
No gloom shall ever shake,
no foe shall ever take,
the hope which God's own Son
in love for me has won.

Now I will cling forever,
to Christ, my Savior true;
my Lord will leave me never,
whate'er he passes through.
He rends death's iron chain;
he breaks through sin and pain;
he shatters hell's grim thrall;
I follow him through all.

Christ brings me to the portal
that leads to bliss untold,
whereon this rhyme immortal
is found in script of gold:
"Who there my cross has shared
finds here a crown prepared;
who there with me has died
shall here be glorified."

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