To our Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church family,
Lent, like the waning months of winter, longs for new life. And so this can be our experience; just as we become impatient with cold weather and rain and long for spring, so we impatiently long for Easter! But this season is so very helpful to us, in particular, as we walk the way of the cross in faithful repentance.
Why is this important? Through contemplating our sin in faithful repentance, we are prepared for God's Work at the resurrection and God's Work in the present. In regards to the focus on Easter, we certainly think about “the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting.” But, what about God's Work in the present time? What does the forgiveness of Jesus through His death on the cross have to do with living today? Much in every way!
The devil tempts us to believe that Christ’s victory is of little import today, that it doesn’t matter. Nothing could be further from the truth. We must daily be reminded of the great meaning of the resurrection. So we pray with Luther the sixth petition of the Lord’s Prayer: Lead us not into temptation.
What does this mean?
“God tempts no one. We pray in this petition that God would guard and keep us so that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or mislead us into false belief, despair, and other great shame and vice. Although we are attacked by these things, we pray that we may finally overcome them and win the victory.”
In the early Church, catechumens would receive a white baptismal garment at their baptism and continue to wear it for the week following Easter to symbolize their continued new life victory in Christ. This may be, in fact, where we get our tradition of acquiring a new outfit/dress for Easter.
What will you be wearing this Easter?
Christ rose from the dead so that we could wear his righteousness. Jesus won the victory so that we would never have to be naked before God, as Adam and Eve were. Remember that you are clothed in Christ’s resurrection: you are baptized. As we get ever closer to Easter, wear your baptism.
Pastor Chris Biernacki