From the Senior Pastor
Pr. Randy Gehring
Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!
This is the cry of the faithful this joyous Easter season. The tomb is empty. Death has been defeated. Sins are forgiven. Love wins, and hope springs eternal. Thanks be to God! Alleluia!
Every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox, the church around the world celebrates the resurrection of Jesus with great pageantry and passion. But Easter is more than just another holiday; the empty tomb changed the course of history and the Spirit of the risen Christ is present and active in and through God’s people even today.
In the church, Easter is not only the festival that is celebrated at the end of Lent and Holy Week but it is also a season that spans seven Sundays, beginning with Easter Sunday. At Our Savior’s this year, we’re taking our cues this Easter season from the hymn “Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen,” a song that proclaims the eternal nature of this greatest of all church festivals (emphasis mine)—
1. Alleluia! Jesus is risen!
Trumpets resounding in glorious light!
Splendor, the Lamb, heaven forever!
Oh, what a miracle God has in sight!
Refrain: Jesus is risen and we shall arise.
Give God the glory! Alleluia!
5. City of God, Easter forever,
golden Jerusalem, Jesus the Lamb,
river of life, saints and archangels,
sing with creation to God the I Am! (refrain)
It’s Easter that gives us reason to hope beyond death. It’s Easter that gives us a vision of an eternity spent in the wide embrace of God’s love. It’s Easter that lifts us beyond the weight of our brokenness and empowers us to live each day as an agent of God’s grace and mercy. Easter is forever.
Because of that, throughout the season of Easter we’re going to peel back the layers of this Good News to reveal more than what some might call a pie-in-the-sky-in-the-sweet-by-and-by nature of Easter Forever. We’ll explore Thomas’s resurrection resistance and the community’s capacity for holding space for his doubt (Easter! However…); we’ll travel to Emmaus and remember that Easter is not easily contained (Easter Wherever); we’ll celebrate that Easter is experienced and practiced quintessentially in community (Easter Together); we’ll claim the power of Easter to transform the world despite great resistance and persecution (Easter Whatever (Happens)); we’ll rest in the promise of the Advocate, who is with us always, especially when trouble comes our way (Easter Whenever); and we’ll lean into the promise of Easter of a better day (Easter: It Gets Better).
Regardless of where you’re at in your faith journey, Easter is for you, so join us for worship this Easter season and know without a doubt the hope and joy of Easter Forever.
In Christ’s love,
Pr. Randy Gehring
“Alleluia! Jesus Is Risen”
Text: Herbert F. Brokering, b. 1926
Text © 1995 Augsburg Fortress