“And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord,, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it.” Matthew 28:2
Throughout the ages, Christians have discussed what truly happed at the moment of Christ’s resurrection. Some theologians have pondered whether it was a mighty wind that filled Jesus’ lungs that caused him to rise from the dead, or perhaps a mighty bolt of lightning. Others have suggested that the resurrection was as slight and unseen as a human breath. St. Matthew’s gospel offers its own colorful and dramatic portrait. The evangelist compares the resurrection to an earthquake, and an angel descending from heaven to roll back the stone from the tomb and releasing Jesus from the bonds of death. It is a powerful image.
Of course, there were no eye witnesses to the moment of Christ’s resurrection. In scripture we have only the accounts of those who saw the resurrected Jesus and we read how his resurrection changed their lives. For the Church, the resurrection remains the great mystery of the Christian faith. The resurrection was the final explanation and exclamation point that all Jesus’ promises and teachings were true. It offered a glorious assurance that there was a possibility for all of us to begin a new life. It states that God can and will dramatically enter into our broken lives and give new life.
As we prepare to celebrate Holy Week and Easter at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church, I invite you to join us for worship as we remember the mystery of Christ’s passion, death and burial and to meditate on the meaning of Christ’s journey to the grave and his resurrection. Listen again to the scripture and discover what new insight you see in the Easter journey.
April 17th, Maundy Thursday, 7:00 pm at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
Together with our neighboring church at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, we will celebrate the Institution of the Lord’s Supper which we hear every time we celebrate the Lord’s Supper … “in the night in which he was betrayed.” The word Maundy comes from the Latin word mandatum. Not only did Jesus celebrate a Passover meal with his disciples, but he also gave them a new commandment or mandate. The worship service will follow an Episcopal order. Our two choirs will combine for an anthem, organist Kenneth Vigne, and Pastor Haug will preach.
April 18th, Good Friday, 7:00 pm at Lake of the Isles Lutheran Church
Together with our neighboring church, we will celebrate the mystery of the Cross. Many people are acquainted with Roman Catholic practice of the Stations of the Cross. In ecumenical discussions there was concern that only half of the stations were based on scriptural reference. In 1991, John Paul II instituted a new series of fourteen Stations of Cross, each of which was based on Scripture alone. Our Good Friday Service, which will be led by Rector Marlene Jacobs from St. Paul’s, will incorporate these readings, choral anthems and hymns.
April 20th, Easter Sunday, 9:30 & 11:00 pm
At last, we celebrate the fulfillment of the Easter journey’s end with Christ’s victory over death- and our promise of life over death, and good over evil. It is a day in which we celebrate the angel rolling the stone away, and proclaiming the good news, “He is not here: for he has been raised as he said.”
It is a familiar story to be sure, but one continues to renew life and hope. It is in studying and meditating this great that our own faith is resurrected anew.
Peace, Pastor Arden Haug