All you that seek the Lord who died
Source: Singing the Faith: 294
Words: Charles Wesley
Music: “Warrington” by Ralph Harrison
Metre: 88.88. Long Metre
Ideas for use
This is an especially useful hymn for use between Easter Sunday and Pentecost. It bridges the period that encompasses amazement (and confusion) at the resurrection of Jesus and the disciples’ growing confidence to go out and share with others their understanding of God experienced in the life, death and resurrection of their friend Jesus. These are words that help us translate Christian commitment into real and visible activity.
Charles Wesley’s hymn draws upon the gospel accounts of the resurrection, in particular the disciples’ encounter with an angelic presence in the empty tomb (Mark 16: 1-8) and, especially, John’s account of Jesus’ conversation with Mary of Magdala (John 20: 10-18). He uses these accounts to represent the search of all believers for the risen Jesus, emphasising the Christian celebration of God’s grace – of sins forgiven – and the consequent inspiration to share a joyful gospel with others.
The hymn (from Hymns for Our Lord’s Resurrection, 1746, and familiar to many in its older form of “All ye that seek the Lord…”) is Wesley’s version of a hymn form that reaches back to a Latin hymn by Prudentius, “Quicumque Christum quaeritis”, in fact written to mark the feast of Epiphany.
The hymn also draws on Act 1: 8 (“you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”) and lines 3-4 of verse 4 refer to John 10: 10.