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This is not normal. An Easter Message.

“Go quickly and tell his disciples, “He has been raised from the dead….”
Matthew 28:8
 

This Is Not Normal.

By Pastor Peter Hanson
 
A typical Easter message (including a few I’ve written) begins like this: “Springtime returns fulfilling its promise. All nature awakens to new life again. The seemingly dead, but dormant branch is ‘born anew’ and bursts forth into bud and leaf and blossom. The fragrance of a new day lingers in the air. […] No one needs to tell us it is Easter.”[*]

According to this perspective, Easter is as routine as the flowers that bloom each spring. Easter is to be expected, predicted, awaited. As the promise of spring inevitably follows each winter, Easter is simply part of the ongoing cycle of life. It is part and parcel of the normal changing of the seasons, nothing more.

I have news for you, my friends. Easter is not normal.

It is not normal that a man who has been tried, tortured, and executed would suddenly appear again, alive. It is not normal that an earthquake announces the arrival of a heavenly messenger in snow-white clothing, shimmering like lightning. It is not normal that these angels tell the women that Jesus is simply “not here, for he has been raised.” Nor is it normal, expected, or in any way routine that we also experience resurrection and new life thanks to him, simply because we have been baptized into his death and resurrection. Easter is anything but normal.

Instead, Easter is God’s overturning of the powers of death, once and for all. Years ago, Lutheran theologian Martin Marty said that Christians who happen to live in the Southern Hemisphere (where an increasing percentage of global Christians live) have an advantage over us in the North, given the time of year Easter falls. Christians in the North, he suggests, can be tempted to think that since Easter coincides with the natural world experiencing its annual reawakening, it is similarly part of the natural sequence of events. Christians in the Global South, however, experience and proclaim Christ’s victory over death at the precise time when many things in the natural world around them are becoming dormant, decaying, or dying. These Christians are better able to see that Easter is not normal, that it is the extraordinary, unexpected, unanticipated, even unimaginable reversal of God acting against the otherwise normal patterns of life and death. Again this year, Easter brings us the promise of new life in Jesus, whom God raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit.

In this Jesus is life, abundant life, eternal life. He is risen indeed. And this is not normal. Thanks be to God.

[]“Easter Hope and Love,” in The Christian Magnifier, Published by Lutheran Braille Evangelism Association, 64:2, April 2017




Celebrate Easter at CtK

Welcome the resurrection at Christ the King at one of our five Easter morning worship services. 

Sunrise Service
Sunday, April 16, 6:30 a.m.
We will welcome the resurrection in the day’s early light by gathering outdoors around the columbarium. In the case of rain or inclement weather, worship will be in the Chapel.

Easter Morning Services
Sunday, April 16, 8:00, 9:30, 11:00 a.m., 12:00 noon*
*Please note: the noon service will be in Spanish.
El servicio a las 12 es el único servicio de Pascua en Español.

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