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Easter Isn't Over

May 2024 Newsletter

Easter Sunday has come and gone.  Christ is Risen: He is Risen indeed! Alleluia! We proclaim.  But how quickly do we move on?  We are still in the Easter season, but what's next? There is always the sense of what's next.  During Advent and Lent, the sense of what's coming up next is simple: Christmas or Easter respectively.  But what is next now? Well that's easy right, Pentecost, that's what's next, right?  Ascension, and Pentecost.  All of that is what's next, and after that? Summer! But is this really how we look at what is going on in our lives and the life of the church?  Is this really how we are to look at what is coming up next?

Easter Sunday is come and gone and we have proclaimed Christ is Risen, but is that really how we look at things.  But has Easter Sunday come and gone?  Or maybe a better way for us to view Easter morning is that Easter has dawned.  It has started. It has come to light.  The darkness of night shrouded in sin and death has been broken by the life-giving light of Christ.  He has come to banish the darkness of sin, because in Him there is no darkness at all.  In Him is life and light eternal.  In Him is life and salvation to all who believe.  This hope of ours is brought to light in the resurrection of our Lord on Easter morning.

This continuance of Easter is conveyed even in the ways the church calls the Sundays of Easter, "of" Easter.  During Advent or Lent, Sundays are "in" that season; the "First Sunday in Lent," the "Third Sunday in Advent."  Also, during seasons like the Sundays after Christmas, or Pentecost or Epiphany the church uses exactly that word: after.  The "Second Sunday after Christmas," or the "Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost."  But only during the Easer season are the Sunday following not after or in, but "of." Sundays of Easter, every year we celebrate seven Sundays of Easter between Easter Sunday and Pentecost.

But is Easter really limited to the Sundays of Easter?  I think not.  Instead, even the early church saw Easter as being much more than a mere season of the church year.  As far back as the second century the early church was already worshipping on Sunday instead of the Sabbath as a remembrance of Jesus resurrection and a proclamation of the new life we now have in Christ.  In a very real sense, every Sunday is Easter Sunday.  Each week we come to church eager like the women or disciples.  We come not to find a body in a tomb, but we come for the body and blood of our Lord shed for us, and given to us in the Lord's Supper.  We run to church founded on God's Word, His Word made flesh.  We come for healing of body and soul, for comfort, for guidance, for the forgiveness of sins, for the strengthening of our faith and the promise of life everlasting.

It is that everlasting life won for us by Christ in His resurrection from the grave that we celebrate not just during the Easter season or on Sunday's but daily as we live in our baptismal grace.  In the waters of holy baptism we have been killed and made alive; raised to new life as a child of God.  As I noted in a sermon a few weeks ago every day is a day to be thankful for Christ's victory over the grave on Easter morning. Holy Baptism brings this Easter new life reality to us so that now every day is a day lived in the new life won for us in Christ on Easter morning. This new life granted to us on Easter morning, this victory over death and the grave is now chiefly lived out by us Christians in defiance to the devil, our sinful nature and the worldly fear of death and hell. We live and die as God’s people now with confidence and joy knowing that Christ has already made a way through the gloomy portal of death to the everlasting light and life of heaven eternal. The question then is not "What's next?" but what is now.  Now is the time of our Lord's victory over the grave for you. Now is the time of eternal life already won and begun in us in baptism.  Now is the time to share God's Word.  Now is the time to be a part of God mission for His church as we live lives of faithful service to our Lord.

Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!,

Pastor Nick

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