Messiah Lutheran Church 6201 W Patterson Av
Chicago IL 60634

March 2013

The Hope of the Resurrection

The story is told of a church member who only attended church once a year on Easter Sunday,. Naturally, he would be quite shocked when the newer members didn't know who he was (why, some even welcomed him as a visitor!), and would also be irritated whenever someone had the audacity to sit in his regular pew. And he wasn't too pleased with some of the older members, either., when they forgot his name or didn't even recognize who he was! (It occurred to him how much older some of the members were getting since he had last seen them.) But, what really upset him was the pastor's sermons! And one year, he decided he had had enough! So, he greeted the pastor at the door — and said to him "Look, Pastor, you really need to get some new material! Every time I hear you preach, all you seem to talk about is the Resurrection!"

Well, we laugh at this humorous story (and if the shoe fits, well, why don't you put on the other shoe and come to church more often?) But there's also an element of truth in this man's complaint. For wherever God's Word is faithfully preached, the Resurrection of Our Lord cannot help but be referred to. For as St. Paul writes in I Corinthians 15:17-19 "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied."

The Resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is God's "Yes and Amen!" to Christ's work on the cross, where He won for us victory over sin, death, and the devil. All who are in Christ can look forward to being raised from the dead like Him. For Christ is the first-fruits of the Resurrection of the Dead (see 1 Corinthians 15:23)! Life can often feel like Good Friday at times, where all hope is lost, and there's nothing to praise the Lord for. However, the Good News is, three days later, on Easter Sunday our Lord rose from the grave! And because of that, we can be assured of forgiveness of sins and eternal life in heaven.

As recipients of the hope of the Resurrection, we cannot help but find ourselves longing to be in Divine Worship as often as possible, and not just once a year. My prayer is that all the members and friends of Messiah would realize the significance of the Resurrection of the Lord in their lives, and respond by their regular attendance in Divine Worship. In Divine Worship Service, Our Risen Savior serves us through His Word and Sacraments. We respond by saying along with the Psalmist, "I rejoiced when they said, Let us go to the house of the Lord!" FOr Christ is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!

Your Forgiven Servant,
Pastor Wendt

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