Dear Friends in Christ,
Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
What a joy it is to be sisters and brothers of our Risen Lord Jesus Christ! What a blessing to us that in our Risen Jesus we have complete forgiveness, eternal life and salvation as FREE gifts!
As Paul Gerhardt’s Easter hymn says, “Awake, my heart, with gladness, See what today is done; Now, after gloom and sadness, Comes forth the glorious sun.” (LSB 467)
Easter is truly “springtime” for the soul—we are brought with our Lord Jesus from death to life, from spiritual darkness to eternal light by grace through faith in Him. We look at the lilies of Easter, and the flowers of Spring, and praise God for the new life He bestows on His creation after the “death” of winter. But what happens as the weather warms and the flowers do not receive proper care? They wither and die. And the same is true for you and me as God’s children in Christ Jesus. Without the proper spiritual care and nourishment, our faith can wither, suffer, and even die off.
So take this Word of Law to heart as the weather warms and you consider how to best use your weekend times for relaxation and recreation. Do not neglect your spiritual nourishment in God’s Word and Sacrament in favor of some other activity. Put first things first and take care of your souls. We have an 8:00 a.m. service that is finished in about an hour. That gives you the whole day for enjoying the rest of God’s creation and your activities. You wouldn’t think of not feeding your children food, so why even give a thought to not feeding your soul and body with the Word of God and the heavenly food of Christ’s body and blood with the bread and the wine. Don’t be that Easter flower that lacks proper care! You are worth it. God said you are worth it when He gave you Jesus to be your Savior.
So awake your heart with gladness on Sunday mornings, even when the weather is nice . . . and especially when the weather is nice. Start your week off with your family where God wants you to be and where God Himself invites you to spend time with Him in His Word. Give thanks to Him for all His blessings of body and soul. Praise Him for you crucified and risen Savior who gives you, through His Word, forgiveness, life, and the strengthening and sustaining of your most holy faith for the week ahead.