It was in his Easter sermon of 1530 that Martin Luther preached:
“Know ye then- sin, death, devil, and everything that assails me- that you are missing the mark. I am not one of those who are afraid of you. For Christ, my dear Lord, has presented to me that triumph and victory of his by which you were laid low. And from this very gift of His I derive my name and am called a Christian. There is no other reason. My sin and death hung about His neck on Good Friday, but on the day of Easter they had completely disappeared. This victory He has bestowed on me. This is why I do not worry about you.” Source: Easter sermon, 1530, Mark 16:1-8 (What Luther Says, 3881)
This says to me that Easter is not only a one day event, not even a 50 day event. Easter is a lifetime and a life changing event. The darkness and the gloom of Good Friday – our uncertainties, our own challenges, our own mortality – is all overcome by the light of the Easter dawn…once and for all time. Therefore we are a people who are not full of despair…we are a people of HOPE! We do not grieve as those who have no hope, we do not fear the darkness of our humanity as those who are hopeless do, and we do not fear the future as those who live without the sure and certain promise of light, eternal life and eternal love.
In addition, we live with the certainty that not only does God walk with us, but that we share in this journey of life with fellow believers…the community of faith that is the Church. The family of Faith Evangelical Lutheran Church has long surrounded the babes and adults who were baptized; long been with young people as they affirm their faith in the Rite of Confirmation; walked with those who celebrate their marriage before the Altar; and journeyed along with those who have bid “adieu” to loved ones in the funeral services. Each Sunday in Word proclaimed, in Holy Communion shared and in the reminders of our Baptism, we proclaim, preach and teach that “Christ is Risen”! That is where the message of God’s grace, God’s love and God’s peace comes from…Christ is Risen! “My sin and death hung around his neck on Good Friday, but on the day of Easter they had completely disappeared…” Thanks be to God! Amen!