Posts tagged “Easter

The Resurrection of Our Lord—Easter Day 2017

Posted on April 18th, 2017

The Resurrection of Our Lord – Easter Day St. Mark 16:1-8 April 16, 2017 Immanuel Evangelical-Lutheran Church, Alexandria, Virginia On Friday, the weeping women heard His last words. “It is finished,” Jesus said, and they believed Him. It’s all over. You’ve heard those words. “Finish them!” the coach shouts, when the opponent is on the ropes. “You’re finished!” says the boss, as you get fired. “We’re finished!” she snarls, ending the relationship. “It is finished,” Jesus said. They believed Him. It’s all over. Death wins. So early in the morning, they do their duty. The women go to serve a dead Jesus. They show love and devotion. Yet hope is lost. They believe the jeers from Friday. “He saved others; Himself He cannot save.” …

Sermo Dei: Misericordias Domini 2016

Posted on April 11th, 2016

Alleluia! Christ is risen!   Children learn to speak by being spoken to. So it is with the children of God. Ephphatha, the pastor says to the one coming to Baptism. He is repeating the Word of Jesus spoken to a deaf man: “Ephphatha, ‘Be opened.’” This follows the Lord’s Prayer, where the Pastor, as an elder brother, teaches his new little sister the words Jesus gave us. “Listen, baby sister,” the pastor is saying, “here is how we call on Our Father, and He will always hear us.” These words open the ears of the child – and they also open the ears of God, ears that are always open to our cry. “Call on Me in the day of trouble,” the Lord…

Sermo Dei: The Resurrection of Our Lord 2015

Posted on April 5th, 2015

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! “On Saturday we kill the Jews, on Sunday we kill the Christians.” That’s an Islamist motto, which Lela Gilbert explores in her book Saturday People, Sunday People. Christians are known as Sunday People, and all around the world the Sunday People are facing violent persecution. On Holy Thursday, 147 holy martyrs were killed in Kenya. A survivor said that when the terrorist group al-Shabaab stormed the university, they began separating the Muslims from the Christians. “If you were a Christian you were shot on the spot. With each blast of the gun I thought I was going to die” (http://time.com/3768749/kenya-alshabaab-garissa/). If you read the accounts of Christian martyrs through the centuries, you will find in them a beautiful…

Easter thoughts from the cutting room floor

Posted on March 30th, 2013

Sorting through my old notes in Scrivener, I came across this unused bit intended for the 2011 Easter sermon.  My beloved grandmother saved twist-ties and little scraps of tinfoil and many other things that I regarded to be of little or no value. It all had to be thrown away when our family moved her to an apartment after my grandfather died. My mom explained to me that she had lived through the depression, and that experience caused her to be very frugal and save everything. Now, in our culture of excess, we recklessly throw things away. Experiencing the Great Depression, or simply a time of poverty, would definitely change a person’s outlook on how things are valued. The same is true for Easter…

Kieschnick on the Papacy

Posted on March 15th, 2013

LCMS President Emeritus Gerald Kieschnick recently commented on newly-elected Pope Francis and the papacy in general. Writing in his blog/email newsletter Perspectives, Kieschnick said two things of particular interest. The first deals with the date of Easter: During my days in office I had hoped to be able to visit with the pope, primarily to enlist his assistance in persuading the Christian Church to establish a fixed Sunday of the year for Easter, the first Sunday in April. Alas, that hope will not be fulfilled, unless what Dr. Paul Maier writes in his historical novel Constantine Codex actually becomes fact. Check it out. Given the very long-standing controversy over the date of Easter, that President Kieschnick would have such a hope is very surprising. The second…

Sermo Dei: The Resurrection of Our Lord 2012

Posted on April 8th, 2012

Alleluia! Christ is risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!)   Have you lost your temper this Lent? Behold, your King comes to you with calmness, to soothe your mad fury. Have you lost your chastity this Lent? Behold, your King comes to you with His purity, and by a Word makes you clean and virginal. Have you lost your health this Lent? Behold, your King comes to you with the medicine of His own body, given into death for you. Have you lost your job this Lent? Behold, your King comes to you, with free gifts, saying, “Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Have you lost your hope this Lent? Behold, your King comes to you with better things than…

Resurrection of Our Lord 2011 sermon

Posted on April 24th, 2011

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! About a week and a half before the first Easter, a friend of Jesus died, a close friend. His name was Lazarus. Lazarus had two sisters, Mary and Martha, who also had been devoted disciples of Jesus. When Jesus finally arrived at their home in Bethany, just two miles from Jerusalem, there is mixed reaction; they do not understand why Jesus did not come sooner. The mourners are hurting, confused; everything they knew and trusted has been thrown into chaos. Christ did not comfort the mourners with platitudes about how everything would turn out fine, or how God needed another angel. No, when Jesus arrived at the tomb of Lazarus, He wept. His tears were for…

Sermon at the Vigil

Posted on April 23rd, 2011

Great Vigil of Easter 2011 Rejoice this night, O Christians! For you were slaves, but for your ransom God gave His Son! Rejoice, Whitney, for on this holy night all your sins are washed away! Rejoice, Whitney, and Lee, and Anne Hayes, and Kevin, for this night the bounty of the Lord’s Table is opened to you! Rejoice, all you whose innocence has been lost, for tonight in Christ it is restored! Rejoice, all you who have been downcast, for tonight our Lord invites you to share His joy! For this is the night when Christ, the Life, arose from the dead! Rejoice, for God has remembered you sons and daughters of Adam, into whom He breathed the breath of life in the beginning.…

Just a shell?

Posted on November 5th, 2010

Thomas Long’s wonderful Accompany Them with Singing: The Christian Funeral has a chapter on the disturbing trend of “memorial services” (without a body) displacing funeral services, even among Christians. Long cites Thomas Lynch, a funeral director, on the insidious “just a shell” theory of dead bodies. He remembers a time when an Episcopal deacon said something of this sort to the mother of a teenager, dead of leukemia, and promptly received a swift slap. “I’ll tell you when it’s ‘just a shell,’” she retorted. “For now and until I tell you otherwise, she’s my daughter.” Lynch goes on to say, So to suggest in the early going of grief that the dead body is “just” anything rings as tinny in its attempt to minimalize…