Fiction or Fact 1064


“I serve a risen Savior, He’s in the world today;
I know that He is living whatever men may say;
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer,
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.
He lives! He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives! He lives!
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
In all the world around me I see His loving care,
And tho’ my heart grows weary I never will despair;
I know that He is leading thro’ all the stormy blast,
The day of His appearing will come at last.
He lives! He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives! He lives!
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
Rejoice, rejoice, O Christian, lift up your voice and sing
Eternal hallelujahs to Jesus Christ the King!
The hope of all who seek Him, the help of all who find,
None other is so loving, so good and kind.
He lives! He lives!
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life’s narrow way.
He lives! He lives!
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.”

by Robert Mason Jr.

Sunday is Easter and one of the re-occurring Christian themes you’re bound to hear will be celebrated with zeal: “He Lives!”

Now when you hear this, you might recall the recording by Alan Jackson released in 2013 on Precious Memories II, but I hear my father’s tenor voice belting it from the choir loft at Urbanna United Methodist Church. God rest his soul, he died almost 23 years ago.

“He Lives,” or “I Serve a Risen Savior,” was originally composed in 1933 by Alfred Henry Ackley. A Presbyterian minister, Ackley was born in 1887 in Spring Hill, Pa., and died in 1960 in Whittier, Calif. He served churches in Pennsylvania and California.

He also worked with evangelists Billy Sunday and Homer Rodeheaver. This song was one of some 1,500 he wrote. It was published in the Rodeheaver hymnal Triumphant Service Songs.

As the lyrics imply, the Gospels Matthew (28:6) and Luke (24:6) may have loosely served as scripture reference: Respectively, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.” And, “He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee…”

Scholars indicate Ackley was inspired by a young man who, during an evangelistic meeting, asked him: “Why should I worship a dead Jew?” They most often credit Forty Gospel Hymn Stories by George W. Sanville, with Ackley’s response “He Lives! I tell you; He is not dead, but lives here and now! Jesus Christ is more alive today than ever before. I can prove it by my own experience, as well as the testimony of countless thousands.”

Sing it Daddy, “He Lives!”

 

 



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