Thursday, April 01, 2010

There is a Green Hill

By Belinda

Easter is about resurrection, but mostly, I think, it is about  remembering.

It has been a busy season at work and home and I confess to not having had much reflective time, but I have been remembering; thinking about Easters past as I prepare for Easter present.

I didn't grow up in a church-going family but I went to a Church of England school in Alvechurch. I loved the hymns that we sang during assembly each morning, and the prayers that we read from the Book of Common Prayer. They, and Religious Knowledge classes, gave me a good start in knowing God.

The season of Lent and Easter was an emotional roller coaster ride for my little girl heart, as I re-lived Jesus's Last Supper, his agony and lonely night of prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane and his betrayal and crucifixion. The hymns we sang in the week before Easter touched me so deeply that as we sang, There is a Green Hill, a lump would rise in my throat and tears fill my eyes.Children are so much more easily connected to God than adults are. No wonder Jesus said that to understand the Kingdom of God we have to become like little children.

On Easter morning the bells of the ancient St. Laurence church would ring out, from high on the hill overlooking the village. I was drawn there as if by a magnet, climbing the narrow asphalt path to the churchyard. Then, as the sun streamed through the stained glass windows with pictures of knights and angels, we would sing the joyful Easter hymns to the strains of the majestic sounding pipe organ.

There Is a Green Hill Far Away

1. There is a green hill far away,
Without a city wall,
Where the dear Lord was crucified,
Who died to save us all.

2. We may not know, we cannot tell
What pains He had to bear;
But we believe it was for us
He hung and suffered there.

3. He died that we might be forgiv'n,
He died to make us good,
That we might go at last to Heav'n,
Saved by His precious blood.

4. There was no other good enough,
To pay the price of sin;
He only could unlock the gate
Of Heav'n and let us in.

Oh, dearly, dearly has He loved,
And we must love Him too;
And trust in His redeeming blood,
And try His works to do.

Lyrics: Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander
Music: George Coles Stebbins


Marilyn Yocum said...

While reading this, I could hear school children's voice singing, even though I don't know the tune! I love the simple and honest words here.

Deidra said...

This post gave me goose bumps. I've never heard of that song but I could just imagine the singing. The words are sweet indeed.

Belinda said...

Deidra and Marilyn, I'm so glad you loved the words. You can listen to it on You Tube but none of the versions captured what I remember from my childhood. It was the words of hymns like this that preached the gospel to my young heart. It's all there, isn't it?