Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Our Easter declaration still rings through the air and through our hearts. Easter Sunday may be over, but the celebration continues as we move through this Eastertide season, culminating in the festival of Pentecost on May 15.
The good news of Easter is more than the remembrance of a one-time event that happened long ago in a faraway land. The good news of Easter is the promise that God in Christ is more powerful than death, that love will eventually triumph over hate, that joy comes after sorrow, and that new life is always possible.
In many parts of the world, this season is filled with reminders of resurrection and the promise of new life. Buds are appearing on trees, flowers are shooting up from the ground, grass is starting to turn green once again. Because we had an early Easter this year, and because we live in Alaska, such signs of new life in nature are not yet present for most of us. But neither are they far off. Before the Easter season ends, we too will have the joy of watching buds pop out and seeing green shoots appear from the ground.
But nature is not the only setting in which we can be reminded of resurrection. I see numerous signs of new life here at Immanuel – increasing participation in adult forum, new energy in worship, the “resurrection” of the choir, the wonderful (perhaps record high?) attendance at our Maundy Thursday potluck and communion service, the festive atmosphere of our post-worship lunches, visitors who show interest in learning more about our community, and dedicated, energetic Deacons and Elders who are committed to building up this community of faith and to seeking new ways of serving Christ.
We are Easter people. We not only proclaim the resurrection of Christ, but - in the words of the Nicene Creed – we also “look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come.” I give thanks for the resurrection and new life that I see here at Immanuel, and I hope you will join with me in celebrating and enjoying it together.