Here it is:
Hallelujah, Christ is Risen!
This is a big day. A day of celebration. Christ is risen. We have traveled through the somber time of lent. We have visited the painful last few days of his passion and death on a cross. And now we hear the stone is rolled back. The tomb is empty and Christ has defeated death. There is joy and awe among his followers.
Every year during holy week I feel like I have been emotionally wrung out. I feel like I am there watching this incredible drama unfold and I am exhausted. Then, finally I hear the good news. The news that he is risen. The joy of Jesus victory over death.
This story never gets old for me. It is told in different ways by the different books of the New Testament but that is OK. It is still the same message. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross. He rose from the dead and now he invites us into his kingdom.
Are we changed by this news. I think we are. At least for me, I need to hear this story. I need to be reminded. I need the message of love, sacrifice, and promise.
Spring is a time of newness. At our home the hyacinths and Japanese iris are in bloom. The red bud trees are budding out and are so close to flowering. The lawn has changed from a brown to a bright green. My neighbor has already mowed his yard. My neighbor is wondering when I will mow my yard. It is a wonderful time.
The long winter is over and you can tell it in the faces of the people. It seems to me the only way you could make this a better Easter, a better spring, would be to have a baptism. Better yet, five baptisms and a reaffirmation of baptism.
We rejoice in the risen Christ. We rejoice in the freshness of spring and we celebrate the baptisms and reaffirmation of members of our church family.
Praise be to God.