But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.”
Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
What wondrous words. This is still and will always be the greeting that we gather around. No matter how distant or isolated these words mean everything and they change everything. We who once walked in darkness now see a great light, we see the light of the resurrection. Sin, death, and Satan are defeated. The greatest of enemies are now a footstool under our Saviour Jesus’ feet. The events of Good Friday have come to their ultimate completion. The sacrifice of Jesus has paid for all of our sins, all that separates from God. We who were once dead in our sins are now alive in Christ, we are the people of the resurrection, the people of eternal life!
These simple words, “He is Risen” give the ultimate hope in this life. That no matter what happens, no matter what disaster or disease, death is not the final word. We have one who has conquered it, we have Jesus where the bonds and shackles of the grave cannot hold Him so that on the first Easter morning He rises promising life to all who believe in Him.
We have been eternally united with Christ, we have been buried by our baptism into Christ’s death, His death is our death, so that by His resurrection we too will walk in newness of life. What a promise, what a hope we have, that we will rise in the resurrection to everlasting life with our Risen Saviour for eternity. This is after all why we celebrate Easter. This is the greatest of celebrations. For almost 2000 years Christians have been celebrating this truly ‘awesome’ event.
While we may not be able to gather together in person, we can still and do sing our praises to our God. As we remember that where two or three are gathered in Jesus’ name He is still present. Even if you are alone, you have a great high priest, an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous one, who brings all of your prayers and petitions to the Father on your behalf. With His Holy Spirit our God is always with us, even if we are separated from one another. He hears our praises and prayers, all of our thanksgiving for what He has done for us.
May the hope of the resurrection be with you all this Easter Season, as we shout aloud again and again Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
In our Risen Saviour Jesus,
Good afternoon everyone,
I just wanted to let you all know what has been happening this past week. I now have a YouTube channel. This channel will have midweek services for Lent as well as a Sunday sermon and the accompanying readings. Pastor Jeff Dul and I are working together to provide for your spiritual care through the services, readings, and sermon. While we realize that this will not reach everyone, we are hoping that this can fill some of the needs that we all have as people who need to hear God's Word. At 8:00 am tomorrow (God willing), the readings and sermon for Sunday should be available for everyone see. I would invite you to subscribe to the channel so that you can get notified when new videos are available. If you have any questions please let me know.
Here is the youtube channel link:
Foothills Lutheran Church in Calgary is live streaming services. Their Sunday service begins at 10:15 am.
As your pastor, I desire to be with you and journey alongside you in your walk of faith and so this looks a little different than before. This past couple of weeks has certainly made for some new challenges but also opportunity. I am spending more time in prayer, especially praying for each of you with the cares and concerns that you have shared with me. I hope and pray that during our time apart we will still be able to gather around the scriptures with our families and continue to rely on our Lord Jesus for all that we have in this life. May the Lord bless and keep you, make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you, look upon you with His favour, and grant you peace, Amen.
Dear Christ Lutheran Church Family,
Greetings in the name of Jesus! I know that there is still much anxiety about what is happening in the world around us and also how that impacts what we would normally be doing in the church. Right now as it stands we are holding off on public worship services. This is something new. I can honestly tell you that I never thought that I would actually have to seriously consider this unprecedented action, but here we are. This does not mean that we do not have any opportunity to gather around God’s Word, and sing praises to Him. We should be reminded of Jesus’ promise that, where two or three are gathered in my name, I am with them. The form which our worship takes will be different for a while. I am encouraging all of you to take this time that we have apart from one another to still get together around God’s Word as families. During the repentant season of Lent we are exhorted to reorient our lives around the one anchor of life, Jesus. We come to His cross where we see clearly the cost of our salvation, we see our God in Flesh suffering for each of us, we see there what He has given up for us. This was not some mere inconvenience, this uniting of God and man in flesh, His suffering, dying and rising, changed everything. It means everything. For there in Christ we have our life and salvation, the free gift of forgiveness of all of our sins, and promise of eternal life in the resurrection. This cannot be taken away. This promise is just as certain now as it was 2000 years ago. It is this hope that has sustained the church throughout the millennia, through every trial and tribulation, through every known and unknown, and so it is with us today.
In the third commandment we are told to “remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy”. What does this mean? As the catechism again states, “call upon [God’s name] in every trouble, pray, praise, and give thanks.” How necessary that all of us spend more time on our knees in prayer at this time!
I will be providing with this letter, some links to services that will be live streamed from within Lutheran Church Canada, so that you will be able to participate in public worship even from afar. I, along with the Elders of Christ Lutheran Church, are working together right now to come up with some ways that we can provide God’s Word to you from our local setting. This is still ongoing and so I ask for patience and understanding as we all seek to fulfill what our Lord would have us do for Him and for our neighbours. To that end, I am setting up times that I will be available for you to come here to the church as small family groups and individuals, to receive the Sacrament. This is all intended so that we do not abstain from receiving that which we need most, the medicine of immortality, Christ’s true body and true blood, given and shed for the remission of all our sins. I encourage you to make full use of this gift. Please call the church 780-998-2539 or my cell 780-221-5079 to set up a time.
Starting March 27, 2020 my official office hours are as follows:
Wednesday 9:30am - 2:00pm
Thursday 9:30am - 1:30pm, 5:00pm - 8:30pm
Friday - 9:30am - 2:30pm
Sunday - 9:30am - 1pm
*and by appointment*
At any point during the open office hours any person from the congregation may come by and visit. Our Lord is gracious, and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love so let us continue to trust in Him for all that we have in life, both body and soul.
Many of you have already asked about how to continue to support the work of the church with your tithes and offerings. At any time when the church is open you can come by and drop them off in the office.
In all of this change that we have seen, we remember that we worship the one who does not change, who is indeed ever present, who is the same yesterday, today, and forever, the one true God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.