For Dad’s Army fans the phrase “Don’t Panic” will be remembered fondly. It was used at times when all hope seemed lost. Lance Corporal Jones (played by Clive Dunn) would often shout the phrase around Walmington-on-Sea when trouble was on the horizon and it seemed like a Nazi invasion was just around the corner.
I’m pretty sure that Baptist minister Robert Lowry in 1864 felt like all hope was lost as well. He was the Pastor of the Hanson Place Baptist Church, Brooklyn. During a heatwave which accompanied an epidemic where many lives were being lost, he penned the classic hymn “Shall We Gather at the River”. Almost overcome by the heat, he suddenly envisaged the passage in the Book of Revelation chapter 22: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”
Right now we’re in another epidemic. We’ve close to a thousand Brits perishing each day at the hands of the coronavirus and for some people all hope seems lost. Many folks are feeling overcome by the lockdown and the battle taking place to beat the virus across the globe.
But let’s not feel defeated. Let’s have a look at another beautiful hymn.
Low in the grave He lay,Robert Lowry 1874
Jesus, my Saviour,
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus, my Lord!
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!
Robert Lowry went on to write another classic hymn, “Christ Arose!” At times of worldwide anguish no song seems more appropriate. With all the pain and suffering that’s taking place no song seems more appropriate. On Resurrection Sunday no song seems more appropriate.
We’ve no need to panic church. We’ve no need to feel overcome. Our Saviour didn’t stay in grave. He came forth from that dark domain and He arose! “And He lives forever, with His saints to reign”. This Easter, if you’ve put your trust and faith in Jesus Christ as your Saviour then you don’t need to panic. Rest assured in the biblical truth that Christ arose!