Easter greetings to you, and God’s peace be upon you.
The entire month of May we’ll continue worshipping our Lord in the Easter season. What a blessing to continue living in the joy of Christ’s resurrection, and the assurance that we have everlasting life with, and through Jesus. We look forward to Ascension, Pentecost, and Trinity Sundays—all great times in the Church year to remember what Christ has done for us, and continues to do for us as we follow Him. I hope for every one of you a renewed vigor for hearing God’s Word, receiving His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of your sin, and singing praises in response to His love for us. On that note, I’m encouraged by the attendance we’ve had so far this Easter, and I’m not just talking about Easter Sunday. As I mentioned in my sermon on Palm Sunday, not everyone is able or chooses to attend all the services throughout Lent, Holy Week and Easter. But this year, 246 of our 285 members have attended at least one worship service since Palm Sunday. Many of those we haven’t seen are away at college, snow-birding in the South West somewhere, and so forth. But my point is: a majority of our congregation has received the Word of God and the Easter message of the Resurrection within a two-week period—that’s very good coverage. Now some may choose not to hear it again for another year. Others might choose to hear it a few more times until Easter next year. Others will choose to hear it every Sunday until Easter 2015. That’s why in the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, pastors preach the Resurrection every Sunday. In other words, every Sunday leading up to next Easter is a “little Easter” because we need to be reminded and live our Christian lives in a Resurrection spirit no matter how frequently we worship in church. Of course, as pastor, you know and expect me to encourage everyone to attend as frequently as possible. As Luther says in the Small Catechism regarding the Sabbath Day, “We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word…but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.” May it be so for you this spring and last until you and I are resurrected on that great day when Jesus returns to make all things new again.
I’d also like to look on this spring as a time of joy in anticipation for the things which await our church. For instance, welcoming new members among us, the reading of the book of Acts on the beach with our youth, Vacation Bible School, Mission Festival Sunday, and family camp at Camp Lutherwood to name a few. These are all good times God graciously gives us to encourage each other in the faith, grow us spiritually and bring more into His kingdom. Keep yourself informed of these and many other events in our church by studying your church calendars provided in your monthly newsletters, on our website, and weekly bulletin updates. May God bless and keep us like a watered garden, growing together in faith and love toward our God, and toward one another.