Pillar Journal
- A seasonal journal produced by Pillar Church in Holland, MI to guide us through the Christian year.

Song Reflection #1 – Christ Is Your Spring


This original hymn text was written by EA Washburn in the late 1800s. It was first published as a part of a collection of Easter hymns, compiled by Jane Eliza Chapman in 1876. Jane’s uncle, J. I. T. Coolidge was an Episcopalian pastor in the Boston area and no doubt helped promote her collection of Easter hymns.

Here is Coolidge‘s introduction to Easter Hymns which rings true today as it did nearly 150 years ago:

“Among the encouraging hopes in these days of doubt and unbelief, the increasing observance of the great festivals of the Church by all within the circle of her influence is certainly one of the strongest. Each year, as the seasons come round, they make a stronger appeal, and meet a heartier response. Most especially is this true of Easter, that “day of days.” Its sun shines with fuller radiance each year upon the world, whose night of darkness it broke on the Resurrection Morning. The anthems which greet its rising are caught and repeated by increasing millions of grateful hearts of every tongue, kindred, and people, until the wide earth is filled with their sounding praise. How sacred a privilege to have part in this mighty and triumphant symphony, how sad to be out of harmony with its sublime strains!

As a humble offering of grateful love to the risen Lord, this collection of hymns, full of the spirit of the Easter joy, is sent forth. It makes no pretension to any thoroughness of research; but as one going through the field plucks here and there, until a small but rich sheaf fills his hand, so have these hymns been gathered and bound together. That the precious seed they carry may spring up and bear immortal fruit where they may chance to fall, is the reward she asks by whose hand they have been collected.” – J. I. T. Coolidge

The hymn text is fairly straightforward- it is the celebration of Christ’s resurrection with reminders that every Spring points to the new life we have in Christ.

In the first verse, there is an interesting allusion to “white robes.” Here we immediately imagine the robed one in the tomb who speaks to Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of James, and Salome, saying, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who is crucified. He has risen. He is not here, see the place where they laid him, but go tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him just as he told you.” (Mark 16:6-7).

But our attention is also drawn towards the a vision when the Lamb of God will return to finally put everything right to restore and renew all things…to make all things new! We can see this vision of the white-robed one in the tomb, proclaiming the good news to the first gospel preachers has also a precursor to the final day when we read in John’s Revelation:

“After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’” (Revelation 7:9-10)

Although the text is almost 150 years old, we chose to set it to modern and celebratory sounds. There’s a Spring-like dance quality to the music and the pairing of modern sounds with the female voice is intentional. It mirrors the collaboration between Jane Eliza Chapman and J.I.T. Coolidge in the original publication of this hymn.

Christ is Your Spring

Christ has arisen: Death is no more!

Lo! the white-robed ones sitting by the door.

Dawn, golden morning! Scatter the night!

Haste, your disciples glad, First with the light!


Break forth in singing, O the world new-born!

Chant the great Eastertide, Christ’s holy morn!

Sing Him, young sunbeams, Dancing in mirth!

Sing, all you winds of God, coursing the earth!


Sing Him, ye laughing flowers Fresh from the sod! 

Sing Him, wild, leaping streams, Praising your God!

Break from your winter, Sad heart, and sing!

Bud with your blossoms fair; Christ is your spring.

By Andy Bast