April 2016

Post date: Mar 30, 2016 6:34:46 PM

Dear People of God,

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! This is the good news that we greet each other with during the Sundays of Easter. And we are in the Easter season throughout the month of April. The Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ is just too good of news to be confined to one Sunday a year. So in the church we have seven Sundays of Easter, seven weeks of Easter, a whole week of weeks, 49 days in which we loudly proclaim the best news ever: Christ has died! Christ is risen! Christ will come again! So I encourage you to keep on celebrating Easter clear up until Pentecost Sunday on May 15. And of course, as the Reformer Martin Luther would remind us, every Sunday is really a little Easter: a little celebration of our Savior Jesus’ victory over sin, death and evil for us.

I drive past Motel 6 on my way to or from the church building between 4 and 6 times a day. So, of course I always see what’s on their sign. Since the beginning of March, the sign has read “Happy Easter”. Even as I write this article about two thirds of the way through March, that sign is jumping the gun on Easter. I know, it’s a motel, not a church, so I can’t really expect them to get it right. But at the beginning of March, we were still very much in the middle of Lent and walking with our Savior Jesus to his cross and grave. We were waiting until March 27th to proclaim, “Christ is risen” and “Happy Easter.” But much of society has no concept of what Lent is all about. In Baker City, Oregon I even had some fundamentalist pastors ask me, “What is Lent?”

In the secular world, Easter is unfortunately, much like Christmas. It’s all over after the big day. But for Christians, the great good news and the season of Easter is just beginning. So you have permission to keep on partying for a full seven weeks! The resurrection from the dead of our Savior Jesus is the best news ever for us mortal human beings. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, God gives us forgiveness of sins, new life now and everlasting life to come in the full kingdom of God.

We are always Easter people. Therefore, we live with hope and purpose and the love of Jesus. And we seek to share the love, hope and purpose of the risen Jesus with other people. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!

Pastor Dennis