Dear members and friends of our ELS:
Routine reminders can get overlooked. We like fresh ways of remembering an important event or deadline. A new phone app might help us organize—maybe with a colorful pop-up or an odd-sounding signal sent through the computer. Maybe simply a brand-new magnetic note pad stuck to the fridge. No matter what the device or method used, the day-after-day repetition may dull our senses. Does your reminder system at times receive scant attention—a passing glance—only to have you forget an important meeting or assignment? At the very least, it can be embarrassing!
We also have religious reminders around us daily. They, too, can become routine. Think of the myriad of Christian symbols to which believers have grown accustomed, symbols intended to convey God’s wonderful truths: the cross, the font, the altar, the shepherd’s staff, the equilateral triangle, the religious paintings, the stained glass depictions in our church windows, and the Easter lily. Signs in nature also yield spiritual lessons: the rainbow, the fig tree, the seed planted in the soil, earthquakes, etc. What joy to have around us these daily prompts that bring to mind messages from our gracious Lord God who loves us! “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease” (Genesis 8:22).
God also gives us a big symbol. What a reminder we have in the daily rising of the sun! The prophet Malachi spoke of Christ’s coming as “the Sun of Righteousness” rising with healing in its wings (Malachi 4:2). We sing of this in connection with Christ’s birth in the familiar carol “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” (ELH 125:3). The routine of the light rising each morning on the horizon points most emphatically to the greatest event ever recorded on our human soil—the glorious rising of the only-begotten Son!
Because of Christ’s resurrection, we have forgiveness, life, and salvation! Because He has risen, we have the victory over death! Because He has risen, we too will rise! The hymnwriter Thomas Kingo put it like this: “Like the golden sun ascending … / Thus my Jesus from the grave / And death’s dismal, dreadful cave / Rose triumphant Easter morning / At the early purple dawning” (ELH 354:1).
See the sunrise, dear friends. It is repetitive. But what a daily reminder of all that counts! The Son’s rising means our forgiveness, eternal joy, and victory! Have a blessed Easter!
Rev. John A. Moldstad, ELS President