Jesus is risen, the people rejoice

Jesus is risen
the people rejoice

Clapping and singing
jubilant noise


The cross is no burden
one man to carry

All people share it
lighten God’s load


Hold ideas closely
process and ponder

Head links to heart
with glorious wonder


Death cannot stop
passionate justice

Vision and fury
pulsating life


Here and now, catch it
open-mouthed stare

Diminished, the devil
slinks back to his lair


Death overcome
by passionate heart

Story still spinning
we’ve just made a start


Tell out the wonder
spell out the joy

Craft image and music
all talents employ


Invited to follow
step firm on The Way

Gentle the prodding
to be still and pray


Open the big book
what did they say?

First babe, then adult
faith boosted today


A clarion call
can it be good news?

Yes, say the people
and stamp in the pews


Mystery, misery
unbidden truth

Open to all
both refined and uncouth


The whole earth vibrates
the bow string aquiver

Myth mingles with fact
God’s love to deliver


Yes, Jesus is risen
the people rejoice!

Philip Garside
30 January 2016



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Last updated on 21 April 2021, 1:00 PM

About this poem

I have had the phrase "Jesus is risen, the people rejoice" running around my head for the past week. I tried to put it out of my mind, because I no longer have a traditional understanding of Jesus' resurrection (preferring to focus on what he said and did in his lifetime), but it kept bugging me.

This morning I gave in. I sat down with my favourite fountain pen and notebook and thought OK, lets see where this goes.

The couplets just flowed out. Most of the words and rhymes came easily. Some stanzas didn't  rhyme, and that feels OK too. I have tidied up a word here and there. But what you see on this page is a spontaneous creative outpouring. Praise the Lord.

You are very welcome to use this poem in worship or other settings during the Lent and Easter period or at other times.

I would welcome your feedback.


p.s. This is a poem to read aloud. Try listening to my mp3 recording below.


mp3 recording

Download Jesus_is_risen.mp3 [4.34MB]


31 January 2016, 9:50 PM

Good fun, joy needs some light touches - but will Wesley Wellington worshipers stamp in the pews? Just getting them to bunch up nearer the front is a near impossibility!


Philip Garside
01 February 2016, 9:46 AM

Hi Rosalie, On a good day we might get the combined congregations responding. But you are right, our big formal space at Wesley inhibits spontaneity. Philip


Stuart Manins
02 February 2016, 11:52 AM

I'm a pragmatist. If it works for your congregation - great stuff. If it doesn't, then at least it's spontaneous, original, joyous and lighthearted and provides an example to encourage others to follow. Be encouraged!

Philip Garside
02 February 2016, 10:31 PM

Cheers Stuart. I'll keep writing and delivering.

David Bell
06 February 2016, 1:53 PM

I really like the reading of Jesus is risen. It's very easy to listen to. I will put up a link from Creative Spaces> Resources>Easter through to the collection.

Lavinia Elder
02 March 2016, 7:03 PM

Kia ora Philip. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful, thought provoking and powerful poem: Jesus risen, the people rejoice.  The words that I keep returning to are All people share it lighten God's load. Profound. I love too that you chose the physical act of using a fountain pen. A lovely metaphor in its own right. The spirit or words as you described, just flowed. Shalom, Lavinia.

Philip Garside
03 March 2016, 10:53 AM

Thanks for your gracious comments Lavinia. "Vision and fury" are the words that strike me the most. perhaps as a good Methodist response to the world situation?