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Across the Pastor’s Desk: A simple, yet most profound message

Across the Pastor’s Desk by Don Rose

“Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!”

These words will ring out among faithful Christians this Sunday as the church celebrates the Queen of Festivals, Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of our Lord. Simple words and yet with the most profound message for the sake of the whole of God’s creation. The power of sin and death has been overcome in the gracious gift of God’s own self for the redemption of the world.

Don Rose

Man will hear from the Gospel according to St. John, how Mary Magdalene recognizes the risen Lord when he calls her by name. Mary’s response it appears is to hold on to Jesus in such a way as to return to what had been before his death on the cross. Jesus tells her to not cling to him, but rather the time has come for a new relationship, a new way of being in the risen Lord.

The good old days continue to have appeal for humans today. With great nostalgia the past is remembered as being the best of times. The hardships and challenges are shuffled aside, and it seems that nothing will ever compare with what was. In the Easter event, Jesus is telling his followers to let go and not to cling to what once was for it is but a shadow of what is and will be in the power and promise of God. Easter calls God’s children to the future of the kingdom and invites them to begin to live into that kingdom with its entirely different ways to live in relationship with others and all of creation.

No longer do the cultural standards of humanity hold a candle to the new way of life revealed in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. New standards based upon forgiveness, grace, sacrificial love and humble service are now in play. No longer waiting for opportunities for service, God’s faithful ones intentionally seek opportunities to share with others in real and concrete ways so that they too may come to know the fullness of God’s grace.

To proclaim boldly and confidently that Christ is risen, is to take a stand against powers and authorities that oppress and bully in any way. To live out the words that Christ is risen is to witness to a new day for all of God’s children and to do everything possible to make its presence known throughout the world.

“Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!”

Don Rose is pastor of Mansfield and United Lutheran churches.