Dear Saints of Zion,
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! May is packed. We have a pretty full calendar of things going on at Zion Lutheran Church and School as another academic year comes to a close. The Church Year calendar is also packed in May as we round out the Easter season, rejoice in our Lordís Ascension to the right hand of the Father and celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit. Then in June we ring in the second half of the Church Year after the Feast of the Holy Trinity.
The lectionary readings in the last half of the Easter season build our anticipation of the coming of the Holy Spirit, the Comforter. We make our way through portions of John 16, filled with promises of the Spirit, who takes what is Christís and delivers it to you. After following our Lord to the cross in the season of Lent and then seeing the empty tomb and hearing the apostolic witness of Christís resurrection appearances, we often think how awesome it would be to walk and talk with Jesus as His disciples did.
Jesus certainly startled His disciples as He prepared them for his departure. He warned them about how they would have tribulation in the world and be scattered. So it is for us, dear Christians. Tribulation often invades our calm and peaceful lives. We experience illness and loss, discord and strife, disappointment and dissolution. Our faith is tested. As desirable as it would be to have the Lord present as He was with His disciples, Jesus also says in John 16 that it is indeed better that He go, that He ascend to the Father. There He will reign and rule over all things. From there He will send His Spirit to deliver His gifts, to lead and guide us into all Truth, to keep us in the one true faith even as it is most certainly tested.
What is yours through the working of the Spirit in the ministry of the Church is all that you need. You have the means of graceóthe Gospel in Word and Sacrament. And through these means the Holy Spirit keeps you in Christ as you rejoice in your Baptism, as you hear the comforting words of Holy Absolution and as you partake of Christís Body and Blood in Holy Communion. You belong to the Body of Christ and are one in Him as you confess your sins, receive His gifts and sing His praises.
What better way to round out the Easter season and the festival half of the Church Year and enter into the Time of the Church. As your calendar and, no doubt, your life is packed to the gills this May, rejoice in the work of the Spirit through the means of grace. Rejoice in the ministry Christ has given to us here at Zion! What Christ has bequeathed to you in Word and Sacrament is to your advantage! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Yours In Christ,