Are you familiar with the names Bill and Gloria Gaither? They are from, and still live, right up the road in Alexandria, Indiana, and they are among the best known gospel songwriters of the last 50 years.

Because He Lives


In the late 1960s, when Gloria was expecting their third child, it was a particularly traumatic time for the Gaithers. Bill was having some physical problems, and they were both experiencing anxiety and fear from the change being experienced at the time in society. Drug abuse and racism were on the rise, for example, and the educational system, that they were both part of, was being infiltrated by the then current theology that "God is Dead." In their words, the world was filled with so much "craziness."

Was this any world in which to bring another child? They fretted and anguished over this.

But then one night, suddenly, and quite unexpectedly, they were filled with a gentle, calming peace. It was as if God, like an attentive mother, was bending over her child, loving, caring, protecting. Their anxiety gave way to a calmness and assurance that only God can provide. They were assured that, left in God's hands, the future would be just fine.

Shortly after their son was born, as they remembered their experience of peace and assurance, it was as if Christ's resurrection, in all of its power and affirmation, was revitalizing their thinking. They felt it as life conquering death in their daily worries and activities.

It was then that Bill wrote the music and Gloria wrote the words to what is probably their most famous and beloved song:

God sent his son, they called him Jesus;
He came to love, heal and forgive;
He lived and died to buy my pardon,
An empty grave is there to prove my Savior lives.

Because he lives I can face tomorrow;
Because he lives all fear is gone;
Because I know He holds the future,
And life is worth the living just because he lives.

As I looked over those words as I was typing, I found that I couldn't just say them, I began to hum this catchy tune, they took on a life of their own in my head. Perhaps these are words that we need to remember and allow to take on a life of their own inside us in the uncertain days in which we are living.

They remind us (like the verse from which they derive - "Because I live, you too shall live." John 14:19) that Jesus enables us to face tomorrow, even with all of the uncertainty that it brings. God holds the future right in the palm of his hand and makes life worth living for all who trust in him.

Be encouraged, my friends. Grace and Hope to you,

Pastor Duane