We Purify in Hope

How Shall We Live

Third Sunday of Easter, Year B

Easter is such a joyous, colorful, and vibrant celebration! Now in Eastertide, this second Sunday, Christ is still risen! The Creation is still waking up!

This week, we come to recognize how deeply loved we are by God. And all that God wants or desires for this world and for us may not have come to fruition yet, but is on its way. God continually calls us to be sanctified, to become holy, and Christ has revealed the way to make this happen: by love. This week’s music calls us to see what sin yet remains and how God’s love through us can heal it.

As with last week’s music notes, you might consider using a “thread” song throughout the series - a hymn like “This is My Father’s World” or “How Great Thou Art” could work well, especially with revised lyrics. In a more contemporary or mixed setting, Matthew Blake Lovegood’s “Holy Ground” would be a great thread to ground folks in your local setting and to remind them of God’s presence with us on this earth. “So Will I” and “Oceans” are well-known contemporary pieces that call us to worship and to follow in the path Christ has set out for us (1 John 1:7). Both songs are a bit lengthy, and one could consider shortening the song by cutting a repeated section (or in “So Will I” a last verse or two, which would also help avoid problematic atonement theology in the process).

For this week’s theme, we recommend some songs for lament, to be honest and open about the sin - the harm, the hurt, the separation from God - we experience in our world (1 John 3:4). Hope and healing begin by naming what is wrong. “All Creatures Lament” by Porter’s Gate and Paul Demer’s “Break Our Hearts Again” would serve this theme well (and “All Creatures” is sung to the common tune Lasst Uns Erfreuen, so it would feel familiar to most congregations).

But there’s room for hopefulness too: because of God’s great love for us through Christ, we can love our world and help to heal it (1 John 3:3). Amy Grant’s new piece, “Trees We’ll Never See,” calls us to plant the seeds today for a better tomorrow. Page CXVI’s “You Have Redeemed My Soul” speaks to our Resurrection experience out of the mire of struggle and suffering on this Earth into the love for God and Creation that we are called to imitate (1 John 3:2).

For more traditional settings, we recommend “Camina, Pueblo de Dios” (UMH 305). We are called in a particular direction by God, and we’re not called to go there alone, but with the people of God surrounding us. We are not just individuals but are part of a people. We have a responsibility to one another, to our forebears whose traditions we are grateful to carry on and correct as needed, to children who will be on this Earth beyond our time (correcting our legacies), and to children yet unborn. “Now the Green Blade Riseth” (UMH 311 ) is a perfect fit for the Easter and Creation themes, and “Because He Lives” (UMH 364 ) calls us to ask honestly whether we can face the tomorrow we are creating on this planet as a human race.


  • United Methodist Hymnal: UMH
  • The Faith We Sing: TFWS
  • Worship and Song: W&S


  • UMH 206 – I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light
  • UMH 305 – Camina, Pueblo de Dios
  • UMH 311 - Now the Green Blade Riseth
  • UMH 364 – Because He Lives
  • TFWS 2050 - Mothering God, You Gave Me Birth
  • TFWS 2059 - I Am Your Mother
  • TFWS 2177 - Wounded World that Cries for Healing
  • W&S 3125 - Peace for the Children
  • UMH 144 - This Is My Father’s World
  • UMH 77 - How Great Thou Art

Contemporary Music

  • Trees We’ll Never See - Amy Grant
  • All Creatures Lament - Porter’s Gate
  • Break Our Hearts Again - Paul Demer
  • You Have Redeemed My Soul - Page CXVI
  • Holy Ground - Flamy Grant
  • So Will I (100 Billion X) - Hillsong
  • Oceans - Hillsong

Rev. Kristina Sinks, Evanston, IL (ancestral homelands of the Potawatomi, Odawa [Ottawa], and Ojibwe Tribes), is a provisional deacon in the California-Nevada Annual Conference. She also part of the Worship Team within the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement.

Rev. Mark Terwilliger, York, PA (ancestral homelands of the Susquehannock peoples), is an elder in the Susquehanna Annual Conference, serving Asbury York UMC. He is also involved with the United Methodist Creation Justice Movement and is a UM EarthKeeper.