Shifting Gears

by | Apr 11, 2024 | Uncategorized

Following this year’s Easter morning, our region experienced God’s creation groaning: flooding, an earthquake, and a solar eclipse. This all happened just as our Bible Study group finished its final session on the Book of Revelation. These events all beg the question, Are the “end times” near? If we listen to Jesus, we do not know the answer: “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father (Matthew 24:36)”.

Whether we are experiencing aftershocks or if these are indeed the final days, one thing is sure: During the Season of Easter, from the Day of Resurrection until Pentecost, we will encounter slight shifting and rumbling within our worship liturgies. You may notice some differences in our worship. Listen closely for some subtle ways we are shifting gears.

Please take note of the Paschal Candle. This candle remains lit throughout the fifty days of Easter during worship as a symbol of the resurrection. At other times of the church year, except for special occasions such as baptisms and funerals, the Paschal Candle remains in the sanctuary unlit.

The resurrection reminds us of new life. Through baptism, we proclaim that we have died in Christ and are born anew with the promise of eternal life. For this reason, we begin our Easter Season liturgy with a Thanksgiving for Baptism instead of the Confession and Forgiveness of Sin used in other seasons.

The liturgy’s First Lesson is read from one of the Old Testament books throughout the church year, except during Easter. Currently, the Hebrew scriptures are replaced with passages from the Acts of the Apostles.

This medieval practice is continued, with the Easter Vigil highlighting the Old Testament’s salvation history and the Eastertide readings looking forward from the resurrection to the new church.

When we confess our faith during Easter liturgy, the words of the Nicene Creed are recited. This creed is said on all festivals and Sundays in the seasons of Advent, Christmas, Lent, and, again, Easter. The Apostles’ Creed is said at other times. The Nicene Creed, however, may be omitted during this season if the Sacrament of Holy Baptism is celebrated.

It’s not the end. It is a time of hope. It’s a time to rumble. A time to shift gears. A time to celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord. Easter people, join us for worship this Sunday, April 14, 2024, at 9:30 AM at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 36 E. John Street, Lindenhurst.

Pastor Marc