April 2023

In a cemetery in Hanover, Germany, is a grave on which huge slabs of granite and marble were placed, cemented together and fastened with heavy steel clasps. It belongs to a woman who did not believe the resurrection of the dead. However, she directed in her will that her grave be made so secure that if there were a resurrection, it could not reach her.
On the marker were inscribed these words, “This burial place must never be opened.” In time, however, a seed, covered over by the gravestones began to grow. Slowly it pushed its way through the stones and out from beneath them. As the trunk enlarged, the great slabs of granite and marble were gradually shifted so that the steel clasps were wrenched from their sockets. A tiny seed had become a tree that had pushed aside the stones. That tiny seed gave witness that life has indeed conquered death.
Nearly 2,000 years ago there was another grave that was marked. “This burial place must never be opened.” In it was a local rabbi named Jesus who had been crucified. He had quite a following. He claimed to be the Son of God. His life of love, healing, and forgiveness had threatened many. To ensure that he stayed in place a huge stone was rolled in front of the entrance and soldiers were stationed in front to make sure that the stone would not be moved. But three days later, not only was the stone rolled away, but the occupant was gone as well. He was/is Alive. He is Risen. In that moment, history was changed forever. The resurrection is a world defining, life changing, monumental moment of all the ages. The resurrection is not a made-up story of the imagination, rather it is a real time historical event of all time.
Because of the resurrection, Christian’s face life and death in faith and confidence and assurance that the grave is not the final resting place for those who die under the sign of the cross. Because of the resurrection, we worship and serve a living Lord, who promises to be with us always, even to the end of the earth. Because of the resurrection, fear and despair are replaced by a joy and a peace in our hearts and lives that nothing can take away. In fact, it is a peace that passes all human understanding. Because of the resurrection, we know that God can transform the Blackest Friday into a glorious Easter morning, and that in all things God does and is working good. Because of the resurrection, we face each day confident that nothing, nothing, nothing can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus our Lord. And because of the resurrection, we come together and are united as brothers and sisters in Christ, living as a community of faith, serving our Risen Savior and proclaiming the Good News of God’s all-embracing and never-ending love for us and the whole world.
Looking forward to celebrating Easter with you on April 9th at 8:30 and 10:00 AM.
Pastor J.R.