The Pastor’s Page – April 2017

Easter Overflows with the Grace of God

It is indeed right, our duty and our joy, that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, almighty and merciful God, for the glorious resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ, the true Paschal Lamb who gave himself to take away our sin, who in dying has destroyed death, and in rising has brought us to eternal life. And so, with Mary Magdalene and Peter and all the witnesses of the resurrection, with earth and sea and all their creatures, and with angels and archangels, cherubim and seraphim, we praise your name and join their unending hymn …

– The Eucharistic Preface for Easter, Evangelical Lutheran Worship

The Easter preface is instructive. We are reminded that the chorus of praise to God extends well beyond the gathered church assembly. We add our songs of praise to the eternal hymn of the cosmos.

This reality sets in for me in a big way every year during the great Three Days when I get the sense that I’m caught up in something bigger than myself.

I find that to be especially true at the Easter Vigil. We ask God to bless fire, water, oil, bread, wine and God uses this stuff of creation to touch us and renew our lives. In the Easter Proclamation, we bid heaven and earth and all creation to rejoice with us. In fact, this ancient hymn of praise acknowledges the bees as God’s servants for they played a big role in producing the wax of the Paschal Candle!

The wonderful stories from the Hebrew Scriptures are more than a retelling of events in the past. They proclaim God’s saving work in the present. When we join the procession to the baptismal pool, pouring water from a special vessel, we join our stories to the great story of God’s redeeming love.

On this night when new Christians emerge from the baptismal waters, we welcome them not only to this faith community but to the Christian church that spans the world and transcends time and space.  And a redeemed earth and the choirs of heaven joins us in giving thanks at the table.

Easter overflows with the grace of God. The church, Christ’s very own body, made new again at font, word, and table is renewed and so joins God in God’s work of renewing the world. Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Pastor Hansen