You Can't Stop The Music

Easter Sunday

Grace and peace to you from our
risen Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ

The first grade Sunday School teacher explained to her class that the poinsettia is the flower symbol for Christmas. She then asked, "Who can tell me the plant symbol for Easter?" One little boy's hand shot up. "That's easy," he said. "It's the eggplant."

And one of my favorite Easter bulletin bloopers is the following: "This being Easter Sunday, Mrs. Jones will come forward and lay an egg on the altar."

One of my favorite music albums, and I have LOTS of favorites, is by the Village People, a group that is amazingly still popular even though their hits go back to the 1970's. On that album is the song, "Can't Stop the Music." I chose that to be the title of my sermon for today: YOU CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC.

In a moment I'm going to read you some of the lyrics, but first I want to set you up to hear them in a certain way. You can do it with lots of lyrics. I find the music lyrics I like the best turn out to be ones that have a deeper message hidden in the popular lyrics.

I really like the title in and of itself: Can't Stop the Music. There's a deeper kind of music that plays within us-deeper chords, resounding chords. There's a music that makes our souls sing. Another song, which we use as a hymn but was a song to start, "How Great Thou Art." The start of the refrain is, "Then sings my soul…." And my soul sings indeed when I sing that refrain. My mother absolutely loved that song. She'd play it on the piano, and even though she wasn't an accomplished pianist, she seemed to draw from some other sphere when she played that. At the senior village where she lived for 13 years she would have her front door open to the screen door and she'd play the piano. Residents asked her to do that so they could enjoy the music. She always played old favorites of pop music and old favorites of hymns.

She always ended with "How Great Thou Art." And believe me; she would get carried away-louder and louder. But did anyone complain? No way! If it was a nice day they'd sit out on their porch or patio to listen or one of the benches on the walkways. And invariably they'd all get caught up in singing. And on singing "How Great Thou Art," as she got louder and louder, so did they! Some folks used to stand by her door and listen. They liked all the old popular favorites, but they especially loved the hymns. It just made their souls sing. Please sing the refrain with me…."Then sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; How Great Thou Art, How Great Thou Art…"

Today, Easter Sunday, as we celebrate Christ's victory over death, breaking the bonds of death forever-the resurrection of our Lord (which, by the way, we actually do EVERY week when we gather-it's why believers started gathering together on this day of the week, to celebrate over and over the resurrection of our Lord). Easter hymns are GLORIOUS hymns. I love singing them any time of the year. And during the Sundays of Easter, between now and Pentecost Sunday, we will sing as many Easter hymns as possible, and as many of MY favorites as possible.

You can't stop the music of Easter. Jesus the Christ is risen and you can't put him back in his tomb. He's out! He's free! He's alive! You can't stop the music! For all those who don't believe he is risen, or who have some doubts or just don't know what to think, it's the same. Whether they believe it or not, he is risen, out of the tomb, free, alive! And because he lives, we shall live also! Feed and forgiven!

The music of Easter shows up everywhere. Certainly in the heart and in the mind. But everywhere you turn it's the music of Easter. And even in popular music that isn't specifically speaking about the risen Christ. Listen to these words from "Can't Stop the Music," and think about the music as being the risen Christ; Christ alive and free and moving in the world, moving within each one of us.

"Everyone you meet, the children in the street are swaying to the rhythm, there's something moving in them. There's no place to hide, so why even try. Can't you hear it coming your way; it's here to stay. Music in our walk, music when we talk…Can't you feel the sound, moving through the ground, music makes the world go 'round."

Incredible, right? Music of the risen Christ! You can't stop it. Here's more.

"You can't stop the music; nobody can stop the music. Moving with the wind, since the world began…the beat is gonna get cha. The sound is getting louder. Music when we play, and when we kneel to pray, there's music in the sound of the wind. Nobody can stop the music. On the radio, on every TV show, for each and every reason, in each and every season … Music for the show of life that never ends.

Music on a plane, music on a train, sailing on the ocean, music in the motion; music in your car, at your local bar. You can't stop the music. Nobody can stop the music."

That's right. Nobody can stop the music. The joy of Easter resides in everyone. If someone doesn't know that joy, it's up to each of us to help them experience it. Let the joy of the risen Christ shine through your life. Don't try to stop the music. You can't stop the music. It's everywhere. You just have to listen for it. Christ is alive and is everywhere you are because you carry Christ with you. If you're going to go into a bar, you carry Christ with you. It's not that you can't have a drink, or shouldn't be in a bar (unless you're underage, of course) but that you don't become a different person there, as though you weren't carrying Christ with you. Remember that. Every believer carries Christ everywhere they go.

You can't stop the music. You can put in ear plugs or try to block it out, but you can't stop it. When you drive a car, you carry Christ with you, and you shouldn't become a different, a negative person behind the wheel.

You can try to ignore the music of Christ, but you can't stop it, and the minute you let go and stop trying to block it, it's going to grab you and shake you to your very foundations. That's what happens to new believers and that's what happens at revivals. Folks who are believers come to revival gatherings to refresh, renew their spirit. They let go of whom they are trying to be on their own, and let God help them be who they really are.

You know, you could have that experience today. Every one of us has little or big things in our lives that are like stones rolled against a tomb trying to block out the music. Anytime, EVERY time you gather with others for worship you can have a revival of your soul that will shake you to your foundations. You can let God roll back the stone or stones in your life that block the light of Christ from bringing you fully into his love and grace.

Listen to the music not just in the hymns or anthems in church. Listen to the music of life, just like in the words of the song I quoted. The music of life is the risen Christ; and because Christ lives, we shall live also! Hear it in everything; feel the music that sings within you. Your soul sings; your soul rejoices! Rejoice with it. Don't try to stop the music. You can't stop the music. Let your soul sing. Let your life sing. Every stone in our life that has been blocking the music has been rolled away! Let us let the living Christ shine in and through our lives. Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!)


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