Archive for April 8th, 2021

Text:  Hebrews 11

Today’s Epistle reading is the Roll Call of the Heroes of Faith in Jesus Christ with the theme verse, the 11: 1-2L

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. For by it the people of old received their commendation.

Prayer of the Day

Almighty God, through Your only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ, You overcame death and opened to us the gate of everlasting life. We humbly pray that we may live before You in righteousness and purity forever; through the same Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Our weekly newspaper’s post-Easter edition has this photo on the front cover:

When I glanced at it, I thought a local park or businesses had this event. Was I ever wrong!  It was a church who hosted this event, on Holy Saturday, for children to hunt pre-Easter Easter eggs and there was this caption:  “Easter celebrations were a little more “normal” this year than last…”

The quotation marks around normal were in the text. This celebration is sadly normal in our culture.  The bunny will not call us to repentance and proclaim our risen Lord.  Maybe the rabbit in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is a better bunny in that regard!  Christians must reject the “normal” of all such secular celebrations and not participate in them ever and for that matter all the worldly ‘new normals’ floating about like ‘tootsie rolls’ in a pool.  This particular congregation is of a denomination that possibly rejects Halloween celebrations with it’s leaning towards demonology and death.  They should reject this event as well we all must. For a congregation to foist such an event is a participating in a lie.  The Easter bunny is simply not the central figure in Holy Pascha:  The Lord Jesus Christ is.  A bunny will never lead anyone to the Lord, only His Word and Sacrament does such in the authority of the Holy Spirit.

Further, this type of event is not more “normal” for Easter.  Every true and faithful celebration of Easter, or Holy Pascha, is not normal by any stretch as we are proclaiming Jesus of Nazareth, true man and true God risen from the dead.  Resurrection, and with it:  faith, hope and love in Him, is so out of the “normal” of sin, death in and of the world!

Hebrews 11 witnesses through the saints who did not seek the “normal” of this world (and it’s sad as so many churches succumbed to the world in this evil and adulterous generation),  nor desired it as we so tend to do:  “But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11: 12    I pray the Lord not be ashamed of us. 

In a home bound call at a  congregation where I was newly installed, I did what a pastor is called to do:  preach and administer the Sacrament of the Altar.  When I finished, the woman exclaimed, “This is just like Church!” No organ but the harmony of the Gospel.  No vestments, but our Christening robe of Baptism.  No Easter lilies, but the Easter message.  No crowds, just 3 of us, 2 or more is enough of the faithful for the Lord (Matthew 18:19).  There was no Easter bunny in that humble home, but the Lord was there, flowing forth from the Font of all blessings:  He is risen!  

In the Hall of Heroes of the Faith, note that all the saints therein were looking forward in hope, in the hope of Christ to come.  They had no cathedrals, except the Temple not made with human hands:  Jesus Christ (John 2:211 Corinthians 3:17 ).  We pray many will hear the Word and come to faith.  But if faith is only for this world, or even for our congregation alone, or nation, or class or race,  then we are of all people the most to be pitied:  but Christ is raised from the dead (1 Corinthians 15:18-20).  It is clear from Hebrews 11:  Faith not only clings to Christ for what He has done for us but what He will do:  Thy Kingdom Come, based upon the Rock of our salvation, what He has done from womb to tomb to the Resurrection.   

“O Holy Trinity, You Self-sufficient Love, ignite also in our heart this fire of Your Love!”

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