Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Carthage, Missouri

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Sermon Audio — April 15, 2018

Sermon Audio — April 8, 2018

Sermon Audio — April 1, 2018

The Wondrous Love of Easter

The beginning of April coincides with the beginning of the Easter season. The season of Lent is a season that intentionally precedes Easter. The season of Lent moves on the calendar as the date of Easter moves. In the larger picture of Church life, what we do revolves around Jesus and what He has done. The most important thing that He has done (as any good Sunday School attendee can tell you) is die and rise from the dead. Yes, we celebrate His birth, but that is not important if He does not die to take away our sins. Even His death is not important if He does not rise, and so the resurrection is the most important event in the life of Christ and therefore the most important event in the life of the Church.

This Lent we have been preparing for Easter under the theme of O Wondrous Love. In our mid-week services we have looked at love from a variety of different angles as it intersects with the cross. We have looked at our own responsibility to love others. We have looked at how some of Jesus’ disciples loved Him at the time. We have looked at all of these things knowing that Easter is coming, which means that there is a love coming that overshadows all of the love that you or I or Jesus’ disciples could muster. Easter is about God’s love for us. It is about God’s love for you.

Many look to the cross as the ultimate symbol of Christ’s love, yet the cross is emptied of its power without the resurrection. The cross is the symbol of great sacrifice and great love. The empty tomb is the symbol of that sacrifice and love applied to you. The cross is the only way that our sins are taken away, but that does not help us very much without the eternal life of Easter. Easter is Christ victorious over death. Because of Easter the supper of which you partake and the baptism with which you have been washed connect you not only to the cross but the empty tomb as well. You not only have your sins forgiven but you get to live an eternal life free of those sins.

Eternal life free from sin is a wondrous gift and so wondrous love is displayed by God when that gift is given to sinners like you and me. No wonder so much in the church revolves around Easter. No wonder we worship on Sunday, the day Jesus rose from the dead. This wondrous love of God is entirely worthy of being the Church’s centerpiece as well as your own. He is risen, He is risen indeed. Alleluia!