This Joyful Eastertide
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3
There are a number of ways in which the Church seeks to emphasize the resurrection of Jesus that make the focus more than a singular day. One of the ways is with services on Easter Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday (as Lutheran Service Book provides propers for each day). Let’s be honest though, pastors, church musicians, secretaries, altar guilds, ushers and all of the others who are busy getting ready for Holy Week are too exhausted to think about services on Easter Monday and following. But how can we emphasize Easter is more than just a day?
Baptismal fonts come in a variety of sizes (and even shapes) and placed in a variety of locations. However, one of the ways to emphasize the blessings that are bestowed through Christ’s resurrection is for the pastor to pronounce absolution from the baptismal font (Lutheran Service Book: Companion to the Services, p. 453). If there is a cover to the font, remove it for the season of Easter and by all means put water in the font. Pastors can explain the significance that our baptism is into Christ’s death and resurrection. The absolution that is pronounced to us is first given in the baptismal waters and ties us directly with the days of Good Friday and Easter, as God puts to death and makes us alive through Jesus. Like the lighting of the Paschal candle during the Easter season, it is an opportunity to teach that we are baptized into Christ’s death and resurrection and that the forgiveness won for us there is that which is spoken to us by the pastor. Easter is not one day, but a way of life for those who are in Christ.
We are indeed an Easter people, and we celebrate our Lord’s resurrection not just for a day or even a season, but forever. We look forward to the resurrection on the last day when we will lift our voices with saints and angels and all the company of heaven in praise to the Lamb who was slain, and who was raised to life everlasting. May this Easter season fill us with joy in the midst of these gray and latter days, but also with anticipation for the eternal celebration of Christ’s resurrection, the marriage feast of the Lamb in His Kingdom, which has no end.
Prayer – Almighty God, by the glorious resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, You destroyed death and brought life and immortality to light. Grant that we who have been raised with Him may abide in His presence and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan