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April 2014

posted Mar 27, 2014, 9:11 AM by Christine Rice

    As I write this in mid-March, St. Patrick’s Day (3/17) is on my mind. Did you know that Christian saints are always celebrated on their death dates, rather than their birthdates?  I did a brief lesson on St. Patrick (372-466 A.D.) with the kids on youth fun night (3/11) and then again during the Sunday kid’s talk on 3/16.  St. Patrick, born in Britain, brought the good news of life in Jesus Christ to the people of Ireland.  And he did so even after being captured by Irish raiders at age 16 and being held as a slave in Ireland for 6 years.  Patrick was one who felt called by God to share the good news of Jesus with other people.  He could not keep from sharing with others the love of Christ which he knew was constantly with him.  St. Patrick’s breastplate says it well.

“Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me,

  Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me,

  Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,

  Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and    stranger.”

I encourage you to read (sing if you’re able) the hymn “I Bind unto Myself Today” (ELW 450), the words of which are attributed to St. Patrick.

    Christ is always with us.  This is the good news of Easter.  Our crucified and risen Savior Jesus is with us at all times: waking or sleeping, in life, in death, in resurrection.  This year, holy week begins with Palm Sunday on April 13th, continues on with Maundy Thursday 4/17, Good Friday 4/18 and concludes with Easter Sunday 4/20.  During holy week we celebrate the main things of our Christian faith: Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem as a king, his last supper with his disciples, his arrest, trial, death, burial and resurrection to new and everlasting life.

    But Easter (The Resurrection of our Lord) is more than a day.  It’s a lifetime and for eternity.  When doing pre-marital counseling with young couples I always emphasize that a wedding is a day, whereas a marriage is a lifetime.  It’s kind of the same, but even more so with our Christian faith in the risen Jesus.  One day a year we celebrate the big Easter Day with music and hymns and the resurrection accounts in the Bible and sermons and flowers and banners and feasts, as we should.  But really, every day for Christians is a little Easter Day and a chance to live as an Easter person by sharing the love and compassion and good news of Jesus with others.  In the church year, the Easter Season (Eastertide) lasts a full 7 weeks, a week of weeks, right up until Pentecost fifty days after Easter, when we celebrate the gift of the Holy Spirit.  In the church year, certainly every Sunday is a little Easter, a little celebration of Jesus’ victory over sin, death and evil for us.

“Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me…..”

Christ is risen!  Christ is risen indeed!      

Pastor Dennis

 

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