Author Topic: Christ Is Risen!  (Read 3162 times)

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #15 on: April 12, 2020, 03:27:52 PM »
Pastor Kirchner writes:
Have some Cheetos and grape juice. You'll "feel" better, Charles. 
I comment:
Sorry, Pastor Kirchner, the "winky" emoji does not cover the tone-deaf, cold, unfeeling nature of that response.
   Don't know about your life, but in my life we are shut off from most human contact. Beloved Spouse and I are unable to do most of the things that brighten and enlighten us. We are worried about friends and family in the epicenter of the pandemic, and still adjusting to this damn Minnesota winter, which is right now dumping four or five inches of snow on the spinach we planted on our balcony.
   Let me say it straight. I'm not feeling very "Easter" right now. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.
   When I wrote "Yes, Christ has risen. But to be honest, today itís going to be hard to feel as if we have," it was a serious statement about seriously feeling bad. Oh, wait, I forgot, feelings don't matter. So I guess your snarky comment connected to a matter of serious disagreement between us felt funny to you.   
   Not to me.
   Everyone have a good day.
.

But, Rev. Austin, your feelings do not change the fact: He is risen!   And that fact is enough to give real joy, right?

RDPreus

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #16 on: April 12, 2020, 03:33:45 PM »
He is Risen!  Our congregations couldn't gather together this morning.  For the first time in my life I have stayed home on Easter morning.  Strange times!  Thank God that we can still hear the gospel, sing praises to him who died and rose again, and confess our confidence in the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Here is the service from the congregations I serve in eastern Montana.  Happy Easter to all!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M-ayNgQdhnY&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR0mKhR-Ox6qA1lC7Yds1AmFyGUBzpDjkMu6iwct9TQoV1dHIA8TJ4V8zBI

Dan Fienen

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2020, 03:45:32 PM »
Pastor Kirchner writes:
Have some Cheetos and grape juice. You'll "feel" better, Charles. 
I comment:
Sorry, Pastor Kirchner, the "winky" emoji does not cover the tone-deaf, cold, unfeeling nature of that response.
   Don't know about your life, but in my life we are shut off from most human contact. Beloved Spouse and I are unable to do most of the things that brighten and enlighten us. We are worried about friends and family in the epicenter of the pandemic, and still adjusting to this damn Minnesota winter, which is right now dumping four or five inches of snow on the spinach we planted on our balcony.
   Let me say it straight. I'm not feeling very "Easter" right now. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.
   When I wrote "Yes, Christ has risen. But to be honest, today itís going to be hard to feel as if we have," it was a serious statement about seriously feeling bad. Oh, wait, I forgot, feelings don't matter. So I guess your snarky comment connected to a matter of serious disagreement between us felt funny to you.   
   Not to me.
   Everyone have a good day.

Feelings are important, but so is thinking. God did not make us to be creatures of feeling with some thoughts tacked on as distractions, nor thinking beings with some feelings tacked on. He created us to be whole, thinking and feeling. Similarly, God did not create us to be spiritual beings who have been temporarily crammed into a prison of physicality, or physical beings with a ghost in the machine. He created us to be whole, physical and spiritual. That is one of the messages and hopes of the Resurrection. When we die, our bodies die and decompose and our souls are with Jesus in heaven. But that is not the end. That is not the goal. Even enjoying paradise as spirits with Jesus in heaven is incomplete. Completeness will come when at the end we are made complete by God, resurrected as souls and bodies, together, complete, and perfected. Ignoring our head knowledge or our heart knowledge leaves our faith and us incomplete.


This has been a strange Holy Week and Easter for me also. I've been doing services on video with hymn clips spliced into segments of me preaching, praying and absolving to an empty church, a camera and my wife as camera person. I then take the various clips, put them together with a video program on the computer and then uploaded into Vimeo. I then email the Vimeo video links to the congregation. That all takes much time, several hours to string clips together and then let the program crunch them into a complete service segment. Then 14 to 18 hours to upload to Vimeo. (Slow computer, slow internet.) In order to make the service videos available in a timely manner, I did Maundy Thursday and Good Friday on Wednesday. I preached Easter on Good Friday. This morning, for the first time in my life, I did not attend Easter service. Had a couple from the church stop by for communion.


So, no, it does not feel like Easter to me. With all that's going on and the disruption of what worship is usually like, it hasn't felt much like Holy Week this year. But that is where my head knowledge has been a comfort to me. Even though I did not feel Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or Easter like usual, I knew and trusted the promise that Jesus made. I know that His sacrifice and victory were and are real and efficacious even though I miss the familiar and comforting feel of Holy Week. I can get by this year (and yes it is getting by, not a desirable situation but we still get by) by trusting what I know with my head because that is what I have been taught and believe, and that is what Jesus promised even though right now I'm not feeling the promise. This time will pass, and feelings will again join with thoughts and head and heart come back into alignment. For now, knowing without necessarily feeling is like being on subsistence rations, enough though not really satisfying. Like life in general all too often is. I will believe in the sun even when I do not see or feel it shining. I believe in Jesus in my life even if I do not always feel His hand holding and supporting mine.


Pr. Austin reported that even though he had had doubts about it, the Maundy Thursday telecommunion felt good for him, kind of satisfied some need. I'm glad it did. Whether or not it was really communion as he would have experienced on a normal Maundy Thursday in a congregation, I'm not sure, I'm not sure he was sure either. (The uncertainty that this really amounted to following Jesus command to "Do this in remembrance of Me" is for me one reason not to attempt it.) In any case, he felt the presence of Jesus with Him, perhaps including a sacramental presence. I'm glad for him, I'm sure that it was of emotion and spiritual benefit whatever "really" happened.


One thing that I am confident of was that the congregation that he was participating in the Lord's Supper with via the internet, and he and his wife, were not doing it in mockery of the gathering of God's people around His table, nor was it to prove some point that they could do things their was to spite the stick in the muds who insist on actually being physically together for the meal. It was an emergency exigency to meet and extraordinary circumstance. Sometimes needs must to meet the needs of the moment. For a number of reasons, I wouldn't have done it but does that mean that I am necessarily wrong because I wouldn't do what Pr. Austin did, or that he was necessarily wrong, unfaithful to God because He did what I would not? Even I don't have that big of an ego to assume that "Don't do what I wouldn't do" should be a binding principle that all need to follow.


I do think that to continue this kind of distance communion when we can again assembling together would be a big mistake. During this crisis, I'm dubious but willing to allow the possibility.
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2020, 03:49:06 PM »
Beloved Spouse and I are unable to do most of the things that brighten and enlighten us. We are worried about friends and family in the epicenter of the pandemic, and still adjusting to this damn Minnesota winter, which is right now dumping four or five inches of snow on the spinach we planted on our balcony.
   Let me say it straight. I'm not feeling very "Easter" right now. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.

You know, Charles, this is the first time in one week that you've mentioned a concern for others in this pandemic, rather than feeling sorry for yourself as ice cream bars, shrimp cocktails, and brunch are delivered to your door. People are dying all around Dave and others, and you want to talk about how you can't do all of the things that brighten your life. Let me tell you a story.

My wife has a soulmate in Betsy, a woman in her mid-50s with whom MariJo works and got to know from there. They have done so many fun things together such as painting classes, they're both artistically talented, day trips, weekend to the Twin Cities, etc. They have so many adventures planned for this summer and beyond. Travel along the North Shore to Grand Marais. A future trip to Italy. Betsy and MariJo are best friends.

Betsy is a hoot. Often she stands on one leg with the other leg bent behind it when she's working at the deli table. I call her Flamingo. At times, I come up to the deli counter and sing lines from Pretty Flamingo** to her. Older, retired guys met there for coffee before this pandemic, and they all have a crush on Betsy. Betsy makes the world happier.

Yesterday, at about 12:30 pm, I was out feeding the animals and doing other chores. I came in the back door, and MariJo came running into my arms, crying. "Oh Greyduck (her nickname for me), Betsy had a heart attack last night.! She's dead!" I'll tell you, yesterday was a tough one, holding my dear wife in my arms, trying to console her.

Then last night, we turned on the TV and watched the video Easter service that a member and I had made Saturday morning. MariJo heard these words:

        "... You see, man was made in the image of God. Death was not part of that image. Because of sin, it is part of the fallen image of mankind. Because of sin, mankind dies. Death is not our friend, it is not an illusion. There are people buried in those cemeteries. Death is a great enemy. Death is sad. Remember, Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus! Not because Lazarus had gone through a different part of the cycle, but because His friend was dead!  The Biblical witness testifies to this-- that death must be defeated, for it is a part of the Evil One.
   On Friday, we spoke Christís crucifixion on GolgothaĖthe Place of the Skull. Some standing crucifixes show a skull under Christ and the cross-- that in paying the penalty of sin, Christ was putting death under His feet. How would such a victory over sin be manifested? How could the victory be shown? ďChrist has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep...so in Christ all will be made alive.Ē

...

   The promise of God, foretold by Isaiah is come to pass.  Death is swallowed up in victory. In his Oratorio, The Resurrection, Georg Frederic Handel portrays the Angel of the Lord descending in a flood of light to unbar the gates of Hell and let Christ enter to conquer death. Satan, rejoicing in his supposed victory in the death of Jesus, is furious and calls his infernal forces to fight the power of Heaven, to no avail. In Part II, the Angel appears on earth to announce Christís victory but Satan vows to keep the news from mankind. He is shown the women going to the tomb and, realizing he has lost the battle, he descends to Hell full of impotent rage.           
        Handelís little piece of fiction focuses in, however, on the climactic moment in the Gospel of Matthew, the actual announcement of Christís victory to the world: ďDo not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. "He is not here; for He has risen, as He said.Ē
   The decisive battle has been fought and won. Jesus versus Satan...never a question as to the outcome. But, the salvation of Godís people, that is the true victory, the real prize. The victory to be fully complete on the Last Day when we will all be physically raised-- For as in Adam all men die, so in Christ all will be raised.
   As St. John foretells:ďI saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem...and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. These words are trustworthy and true: Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!    And Amen."

Those Easter words comforted MariJo. She was able to sleep and, this morning and today, there are no more tears. Because MariJo and Betsy also often shared their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. MariJo and I know what the resurrection of our Lord means for Betsy and for us, knowing that our time can come just as suddenly. Because Christ lives, we live.

So, while you feel sorry for yourself in your fancy senior living establishment (My parents live in a similar facility in Mendota Heights), mourn the loss of your spinach plants, and damn the weather, I hope you don't mind that MariJo and I feel like Easter, despite the devastating, sudden loss of our dear Betsy. Because, that is what Easter is all about. In Christ, all will be raised. We know how it ends.

For Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

** "On our block, all of the guys call her Flamingo..."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j2D0mQWExg
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 04:24:10 PM by Pr. Don Kirchner »
Don Kirchner

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2020, 04:00:47 PM »
Pastor Kirchner writes:
Have some Cheetos and grape juice. You'll "feel" better, Charles. 
I comment:
Sorry, Pastor Kirchner, the "winky" emoji does not cover the tone-deaf, cold, unfeeling nature of that response.
   Don't know about your life, but in my life we are shut off from most human contact. Beloved Spouse and I are unable to do most of the things that brighten and enlighten us. We are worried about friends and family in the epicenter of the pandemic, and still adjusting to this damn Minnesota winter, which is right now dumping four or five inches of snow on the spinach we planted on our balcony.
   Let me say it straight. I'm not feeling very "Easter" right now. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.
   When I wrote "Yes, Christ has risen. But to be honest, today itís going to be hard to feel as if we have," it was a serious statement about seriously feeling bad. Oh, wait, I forgot, feelings don't matter. So I guess your snarky comment connected to a matter of serious disagreement between us felt funny to you.   
   Not to me.
   Everyone have a good day.
.

But, Rev. Austin, your feelings do not change the fact: He is risen!   And that fact is enough to give real joy, right?

The above point is well taken and is key to being grasped by the Gospel message today.  In this case the fact that Christ has been raised from the dead is (wait for it)....a FACT.  One's own feelings whatever they are cannot take away the fact that Easter has happened in history (both in history in general as well as in my history and in your history!).   Christ encounters us today because God has raised him from the dead that first Easter morning.  Actually when we take out our feelings first and receive what God has done in Christ, hopefully joy comes to life not just in general but in the FACT that Christ is alive...not just in general but(now wait for it) FOR YOU!.  All the benefits that Jesus has won are not for folks in general (as they most certainly are, as well).  But the fact is that this is all FOR YOU and the message is that YOU have been forgive,  YOU have eternal life in Christ, YOU are never going to be severed from the life-GIVER.  This is one of the real joys that come when all that Jesus has gone through God (in Christ) has done FOR YOU.  Now that surpasses any down-ward life-taking away feeling that might come during this social-distancing COVID19 pandemic.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 04:08:40 PM by readselerttoo »

Charles Austin

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2020, 04:09:12 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
But, Rev. Austin, your feelings do not change the fact: He is risen!   And that fact is enough to give real joy, right?
Me:
No. Yes. Maybe. Iím not always sure.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

readselerttoo

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #21 on: April 12, 2020, 04:14:20 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
But, Rev. Austin, your feelings do not change the fact: He is risen!   And that fact is enough to give real joy, right?
Me:
No. Yes. Maybe. Iím not always sure.

You don't have to be sure about it for Easter to have actually factually happened.  It is FOR YOU too

Dan Fienen

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #22 on: April 12, 2020, 04:14:48 PM »
Frustrated with the dreariness of the "virtual services" I had seen around here, we went to the National Cathedral in Washington. Good choice. Marianne Edgar Budde, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, presided. A few comments.
   They lit the Pachal Candle with the "Alpha and Omega" ceremony at the beginning.
   "Jesus Christ is Risen today" was the opening hymn. The seven or eight people in the chancel, including two professional singers, sang. The Cathedral organist played, and a fine trumpet added to the music.
   Bishop Budde has a good voice and knows how to use it. Ditto for the lectors.
   Glad that music for what we used to call the "Gradual" was the Mozart "Alleluia," sung by the very fine soprano there.
   Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was the preacher, but not at the cathedral. I think they made a good choice in having him give the sermon from his study. The camera was close, his sermon was quiet at times and intimate, and this fit much better than if he had stood in the pulpit and delivered a loud sermon to empty pews.
   Prior to the Preface, Bishop Budde spoke of the pain of not being able to commune together and explained the idea of "spiritual communion." The liturgy proceeded, exceedingly well spoken and sung, and at the time of the distribution the words of the "spiritual communion prayer" were on the screen as they were spoken in the cathedral. In our living room, I spoke them aloud, as we had (sort of) sung along with the hymns.
   Production-wise, the service was very well done, because the cathedral has a television studio, several cameras and people who know how to use them. Proper cuts or fades to the organist, the singers, the altar, and occasional pans around the empty Cathedral. Close-ups when necessary, medium- and distant-shots when required. And very well-lit. The lack of good lighting is one of my complaints about other televised services I have seen.
   It was a good experience, save for the times I felt the loss of not leading or assisting at an Easter celebration.
   As the service ended, the fine kitchen at Trillium Woods delivered our Easter Brunch - shrimp cocktail, ham, eggs, potatoes, vegetable medley, a dinner roll, a fruit cup and chocolates and petit fours. And a half-dozen colored plastic eggs with candies in them.
   It was fine, save for the moments we remembered Easter dinner in our New Jersey dining room, with our next-door neighbors, our son, and a few other assorted people. This is our second Easter since we moved, but last Easter we were in Charleston and the loss of "home" was not so strong. There were some tears.
  The lousy Minnesota weather, now dropping several inches of snow on us, didn't help.
  May the blessings of the Resurrection expand.

You should have anticipated what Minnesota weather would be like before moving there. Reminds me of my father after facing his first Minnesota winter after moving there in retirement from Louisville, Kentucky. He was heard to say plaintively, "People shouldn't have to live this way."
Pr. Daniel Fienen
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Steven W Bohler

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #23 on: April 12, 2020, 04:19:17 PM »
Pastor Bohler:
But, Rev. Austin, your feelings do not change the fact: He is risen!   And that fact is enough to give real joy, right?
Me:
No. Yes. Maybe. Iím not always sure.

I am sorry to hear that.  Seriously and no snark.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2020, 04:23:28 PM »
Frustrated with the dreariness of the "virtual services" I had seen around here, we went to the National Cathedral in Washington. Good choice. Marianne Edgar Budde, Episcopal Bishop of Washington, presided. A few comments.
   They lit the Pachal Candle with the "Alpha and Omega" ceremony at the beginning.
   "Jesus Christ is Risen today" was the opening hymn. The seven or eight people in the chancel, including two professional singers, sang. The Cathedral organist played, and a fine trumpet added to the music.
   Bishop Budde has a good voice and knows how to use it. Ditto for the lectors.
   Glad that music for what we used to call the "Gradual" was the Mozart "Alleluia," sung by the very fine soprano there.
   Presiding Bishop Michael Curry was the preacher, but not at the cathedral. I think they made a good choice in having him give the sermon from his study. The camera was close, his sermon was quiet at times and intimate, and this fit much better than if he had stood in the pulpit and delivered a loud sermon to empty pews.
   Prior to the Preface, Bishop Budde spoke of the pain of not being able to commune together and explained the idea of "spiritual communion." The liturgy proceeded, exceedingly well spoken and sung, and at the time of the distribution the words of the "spiritual communion prayer" were on the screen as they were spoken in the cathedral. In our living room, I spoke them aloud, as we had (sort of) sung along with the hymns.
   Production-wise, the service was very well done, because the cathedral has a television studio, several cameras and people who know how to use them. Proper cuts or fades to the organist, the singers, the altar, and occasional pans around the empty Cathedral. Close-ups when necessary, medium- and distant-shots when required. And very well-lit. The lack of good lighting is one of my complaints about other televised services I have seen.
   It was a good experience, save for the times I felt the loss of not leading or assisting at an Easter celebration.
   As the service ended, the fine kitchen at Trillium Woods delivered our Easter Brunch - shrimp cocktail, ham, eggs, potatoes, vegetable medley, a dinner roll, a fruit cup and chocolates and petit fours. And a half-dozen colored plastic eggs with candies in them.
   It was fine, save for the moments we remembered Easter dinner in our New Jersey dining room, with our next-door neighbors, our son, and a few other assorted people. This is our second Easter since we moved, but last Easter we were in Charleston and the loss of "home" was not so strong. There were some tears.
  The lousy Minnesota weather, now dropping several inches of snow on us, didn't help.
  May the blessings of the Resurrection expand.

You should have anticipated what Minnesota weather would be like before moving there. Reminds me of my father after facing his first Minnesota winter after moving there in retirement from Louisville, Kentucky. He was heard to say plaintively, "People shouldn't have to live this way."

Here in NW Minnesota, we have sunny and rather cold weather.  My sister (in central Wisconsin) has a forecast of up to 14" of wet, heavy snow, with wind gusts of 45 MPH.  A day or two ago she shared pictures of my nieces outside in shorts and flip-flops.  Of course, we had our foot of snow (plus ice) last week...But Christ IS risen!  And that warms my heart.  Yes, I have emotions too.

Steven W Bohler

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #25 on: April 12, 2020, 04:26:57 PM »
Beloved Spouse and I are unable to do most of the things that brighten and enlighten us. We are worried about friends and family in the epicenter of the pandemic, and still adjusting to this damn Minnesota winter, which is right now dumping four or five inches of snow on the spinach we planted on our balcony.
   Let me say it straight. I'm not feeling very "Easter" right now. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.

You know, Charles, this is the first time in one week that you've mentioned a concern for others in this pandemic, rather than feeling sorry for yourself as ice cream bars, shrimp cocktails, and brunch are delivered to your door. People are dying all around Dave and others, and you want to talk about how you can't do all of the things that brighten your life. Let me tell you a story.

My wife has a soulmate in Betsy, a woman in her mid-50s with whom MariJo works and got to know from there. They have done so many fun things together such as painting classes, they're both artistically talented, day trips, weekend to the Twin Cities, etc. They have so many adventures planned for this summer and beyond. Travel along the North Shore to Grand Marais. A future trip to Italy. Betsy and MariJo are best friends.

Betsy is a hoot. Often she stands on one leg with the other leg bent behind it when she's working at the deli table. I call her Flamingo. At times, I come up to the deli counter and sing lines from Pretty Flamingo** to her. Older, retired guys met there for coffee before this pandemic, and they all have a crush on Betsy. Betsy makes the world happier.

Yesterday, at about 12:30 pm, I was out feeding the animals and doing other chores. I came in the back door, and MariJo came running into my arms, crying. "Oh Greyduck (her nickname for me), Betsy had a heart attack last night.! She's dead!" I'll tell you, yesterday was a tough one, holding my dear wife in my arms, trying to console her.

Then last night, we turned on the TV and watched the video Easter service that a member and I had made Saturday morning. MariJo heard these words:

        "... You see, man was made in the image of God. Death was not part of that image. Because of sin, it is part of the fallen image of mankind. Because of sin, mankind dies. Death is not our friend, it is not an illusion. There are people buried in those cemeteries. Death is a great enemy. Death is sad. Remember, Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus! Not because Lazarus had gone through a different part of the cycle, but because His friend was dead!  The Biblical witness testifies to this-- that death must be defeated, for it is a part of the Evil One.
   On Friday, we spoke Christís crucifixion on GolgothaĖthe Place of the Skull. Some standing crucifixes show a skull under Christ and the cross-- that in paying the penalty of sin, Christ was putting death under His feet. How would such a victory over sin be manifested? How could the victory be shown? ďChrist has indeed been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep...so in Christ all will be made alive.Ē

...

   The promise of God, foretold by Isaiah is come to pass.  Death is swallowed up in victory. In his Oratorio, The Resurrection, Georg Frederic Handel portrays the Angel of the Lord descending in a flood of light to unbar the gates of Hell and let Christ enter to conquer death. Satan, rejoicing in his supposed victory in the death of Jesus, is furious and calls his infernal forces to fight the power of Heaven, to no avail. In Part II, the Angel appears on earth to announce Christís victory but Satan vows to keep the news from mankind. He is shown the women going to the tomb and, realizing he has lost the battle, he descends to Hell full of impotent rage.           
        Handelís little piece of fiction focuses in, however, on the climactic moment in the Gospel of Matthew, the actual announcement of Christís victory to the world: ďDo not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. "He is not here; for He has risen, as He said.Ē
   The decisive battle has been fought and won. Jesus versus Satan...never a question as to the outcome. But, the salvation of Godís people, that is the true victory, the real prize. The victory to be fully complete on the Last Day when we will all be physically raised-- For as in Adam all men die, so in Christ all will be raised.
   As St. John foretells:ďI saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem...and I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true. These words are trustworthy and true: Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!  Alleluia!    And Amen."

Those Easter words comforted MariJo. She was able to sleep and, this morning and today, there are no more tears. Because MariJo and Betsy also often shared their faith and trust in Jesus Christ. MariJo and I know what the resurrection of our Lord means for Betsy and for us, knowing that our time can come just as suddenly. Because Christ lives, we live.

So, while you feel sorry for yourself in your fancy senior living establishment (My parents live in a similar facility in Mendota Heights), mourn the loss of your spinach plants, and damn the weather, I hope you don't mind that MariJo and I feel like Easter, despite the devastating, sudden loss of our dear Betsy. Because, that is what Easter is all about. In Christ, all will be raised. We know how it ends.

For Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

** "On our block, all of the guys call her Flamingo..."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3j2D0mQWExg

My sympathies to you and MariJo, Don.  What joy there is in the promise of the resurrection, as your friend knew and confessed! 

Charles Austin

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2020, 04:29:08 PM »
Pastor Kirchner:
So, while you feel sorry for yourself in your fancy senior living establishment (My parents live in a similar facility in Mendota Heights), mourn the loss of your spinach plants, and damn the weather, I hope you don't mind that MariJo and I feel like Easter, despite the devastating, sudden loss of our dear Betsy. Because, that is what Easter is all about. In Christ, all will be raised.
Me:
Iím sorry you lost a friend. Iím glad you found comfort.
I dare to say, and I do not expect many here to understand, that some days there are pains that are not relieved by the words of the Gospel and/or life in a (your words) ďfancy senior living establishment.Ē
ďYou get real joy out of the fact that he is risen, right?Ē Declares Pastor Bohler.
Yes, I do. Except when I donít.
Pastor Bohler says kindly, ďI am sorry to hear that.Ē
I comment, seriously and no snark: I am sorry and surprised that you havenít heard it from anyone before.
Retired ELCA pastor. Iowa born. Back home from Sioux City after three days and a pleasant reunion of the East High School class of - can you believe it! - 1959.

Brian Stoffregen

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2020, 05:10:35 PM »
Pastor Kirchner writes:
Have some Cheetos and grape juice. You'll "feel" better, Charles. 
I comment:
Sorry, Pastor Kirchner, the "winky" emoji does not cover the tone-deaf, cold, unfeeling nature of that response.
   Don't know about your life, but in my life we are shut off from most human contact. Beloved Spouse and I are unable to do most of the things that brighten and enlighten us. We are worried about friends and family in the epicenter of the pandemic, and still adjusting to this damn Minnesota winter, which is right now dumping four or five inches of snow on the spinach we planted on our balcony.
   Let me say it straight. I'm not feeling very "Easter" right now. Tomorrow doesn't look good, either.
   When I wrote "Yes, Christ has risen. But to be honest, today itís going to be hard to feel as if we have," it was a serious statement about seriously feeling bad. Oh, wait, I forgot, feelings don't matter. So I guess your snarky comment connected to a matter of serious disagreement between us felt funny to you.   
   Not to me.
   Everyone have a good day.
.

But, Rev. Austin, your feelings do not change the fact: He is risen!   And that fact is enough to give real joy, right?


The joy at the birth of a child doesn't remove the pain of giving birth - or surgery if that was necessary. There is pain in the loss of human contact. Why do you discount that? There is even more pain at the death of friends and parents. Belief in the resurrection doesn't remove the loss that we feel. It's been 20 years since my dad died. I still feel the loss. There is no joy in the fact that I cannot see or talk or hug him like I used to.


Even before Mark Allen Powell commented on it, I had heard about translating Matthew 28:17 as: "they worshiped him and they doubted." Presiding Bishop Mark Hanson described the ELCA as the church of the "and": "saint AND sinner" among many illustrations. We can rejoice AND feel pain. It's seldom all of one thing. The largest genre of psalms are the laments - not praise nor thanksgiving. Our human experience is often one of laments. Easter doesn't change that.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 05:19:10 PM by Brian Stoffregen »
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]

Daniel Lee Gard

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2020, 06:06:03 PM »
I celebrated the Resurrection in some strange and lonely places during my 28 years of naval service. But this year is perhaps the strangest and loneliest. On-line services are just not the same as the flesh and blood reality of Easter with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Still, I have a simple mind so...........

Jesus did not follow a stay-in-tomb order.

Because He broke the law of death, so will all who are baptized into Him.

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia! And we also rise!

This is most certainly true. Even in a pandemic.

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Re: Christ Is Risen!
« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2020, 06:19:30 PM »

Χριστὸς ἀνέστη,
ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!


Χριστὸς ἀνέστη ἐκ νεκρών,
θανάτῳ θάνατον πατήσας,
καὶ τοῖς ἐν τοῖς μνήμασι,
ζωὴν χαρισάμενος!
"The church Ö had made us like ill-taught piano students; we play our songs, but we never really hear them, because our main concern is not to make music, but but to avoid some flub that will get us in dutch." [Robert Capon, _Between Noon and Three_, p. 148]