He is risen!
He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
Welcome to the season of Easter. For the next 7 Sundays we will be basking in the glow of the resurrection of Jesus as we await his Ascension 1 and the arrival of the Holy Spirit with tongues of fire on Pentecost. When I was a church boy our Pastor did the same trick every Easter Sunday for the children’s sermon. He’d have us look all over the sanctuary for this dot-matrix print of the word
“Alleluia,” until we found it in the baptismal font. He did this for five years in a row. It got to a point where most of us kids knew exactly where to look for the “Alleluia” even before the children’s sermon time started.
And so one year, a few of those kids (perhaps some adults too) conspired to move the “Alleluia” somewhere else instead.
It this impetus for the new which is going to help theme our celebrations this Easter season. Our focus for this season will be about moving from the known to the unknown with hope. And hope is a tricky thing. You can’t just tell someone to be hopeful anymore than you can just tell someone to be happy. But when we together remember our shared history, and note how God has been faithful, this should give us the hope we need to embrace the unknown – because no matter how different it might be, we know God is going there with us.
I don’t know if Pastor knew, all those years ago, someone changed his plans, but that Sunday he looked just as confused and surprised as everyone else when the “Alleluia” appeared under the brass communion trays instead of in the font. The world changes, but God is still faithful.
Thanks be to God.
He is risen!
Reverend Nathan Winterhof and Reverend Sara Pearson have been Co-Pastors at Prince of Peace Saratoga since April 2015. In addition to shepherding the congregation, they have two children and a dog to keep them on their toes and provide sermon material.