I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.
If ever a new hymn needed to be set to a musical tune, then it would be hard to select one more jubilant than Hymn to Joy by Ludwig van Beethoven. That is one of my favorite tunes. Interestingly enough Dr. Brian Wren, the author of the lyrics to Christ Is Risen! Shout Hosanna!, did not want his Easter hymn to be to set to that tune. He preferred the tune W Zlobie Lezy, for the Polish Christmas Carol, “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly.” He appreciated having a tie in with the Incarnation and Christ’s resurrection.
Biblical texts that inspired Dr. Wren to write the three stanzas were: Revelation 2:22, John 15:15 and Revelation 22:13. The second stanza ends with the following words: “Drink the wine of resurrection, not a servant, but a friend, Jesus is our strong companion. Joy and peace shall never end.”
Christ Is Risen! Shout Hosanna! is a wonderful Easter hymn written in the mid 1980s. It has been included in the last two Presbyterian hymn collections, The Presbyterian Hymnal and Glory to God.
O God, we thank You that Your mightiest deed of raising Your Son Jesus from the dead inspires people to write hymns of praise and thanks. We are grateful to have “new songs” that we can sing to You and for wonderful additions to hymns of Eastertide. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.