Alleluia! Christ is risen
Christ is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Easter Message from Bishop Wolfgang D. Herz-Lane
Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” (John 20:17)
Poor Mary Magdalene!
First, she witnesses the horrors of that Friday morning and afternoon. The violent death of her beloved Lord. The shock of this tragic ending. Now she stands at an empty tomb and realizes that the body is gone. Stolen, no doubt. Not even the gardener seems to know what has happened.
Then the gardener calls her by name. She realizes it is the Lord. She is overjoyed, relieved, bewildered. But then he says these troubling words: “Do not hold on to me.” And he announces that he is leaving … again.
Mary Magdalene’s roller coaster of emotions mirror our own as we have journeyed together through Lent and Holy Week. Once again, we have stood at the foot of the cross; once again we have faced the reality of our own mortality. And once again Jesus has one more surprise for us: He lives! Victory is ours!
He says to us, too: “Do not hold on to me!” The good news of Jesus’ resurrection and of our new life in him is meant to be shared. When we hoard the blessings we have received and out of laziness or complacency fail to tell others about Jesus, we have failed our Lord.
This Easter, let’s make a new covenant with Jesus and with each other. Each day of this Easter season, let’s pray daily for strength and courage, and then let’s face the day in Easter hope and resurrection joy and tell at least one other person why we are so happy.
Alleluia, Christ is risen! YES, he is risen indeed. Alleluia!
Peace & Blessings,
Bishop Wolfgang D. Herz-Lane
Delaware-Maryland Synod, ELCA
Easter Message from Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
My favorite story in Scripture is the account in John’s Gospel of Mary Magdalene going to the tomb. It was the first Easter, but Mary didn’t know that. She expected death. In her profound grief she couldn’t recognize Jesus. It was only when Jesus called her by name that she was able to see the risen Lord.
Jesus saw Mary. Jesus knew Mary. Jesus spoke “Mary.” It was being completely seen, utterly known and lovingly called that opened Mary Magdalene to the hope of the resurrection and into a deeper relationship with Christ. Because she was seen she could see.
This is Easter vision. We have been seen, known and called by God through the crucified and risen Savior and, having received the Spirit through baptism, we all can now see. We can see Christ, and we can see Christ in our neighbor. No one is invisible to God, and no one is invisible to us. What wondrous love is this!
So beloved, with newly opened eyes let us be bold to say, “Christ is risen. Christ is risen indeed. Hallelujah!”
The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America