Dear Friends in Christ,

In Luke's gospel, Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and another unnamed woman - all followers of Jesus - are headed to to the tomb to pay their respects to their Lord who they believe to be dead. Yet on that first Easter Day they find, not Jesus' dead body, but the stone rolled away and an empty tomb. Men in "dazzling clothes" suddenly appear and remind them of what Jesus had told them about how he would be raised from the dead. And the women, we hear "remembered."

It is time for us to remember, my friends. It is time to remember that Christ is risen! Christ is risen!

Risen in and for our lives and for the sake of the world. Risen for the poor and for the wealthy, risen for the blue collar workers and the white collar workers; risen for the Democrats and the Republicans. Christ is risen! Risen for the medical workers on the front lines of battling COVID-19 and for those of us following Stay at Home guidance; Christ is risen for those recovering from this and other illnesses and those grasping for life on ventilators. Christ is risen and as that beautiful Easter hymn proclaims, "so we, too, shall arise." And "I, too, shall praise Him, with a new song."

We Christians are a very strange lot indeed, for in the face of trials, in the midst of dark times we hold our heads high, we dig deep into our hearts, and we proclaim to all who will listen that the tomb is empty, and Christ has risen, and we, too, shall arise. Then we sing and we laugh and we cry and we sing again and we laugh again and we cry again; for there is a joy inexpressible found within this story of Christ's love irrepressible. This is our Easter story, this is our Easter song, these are our Easter lives, woven through and through with the threads of God's resurrection work in Christ for us and the world.

It is time for us to remember once again, my friends, and proclaim the good news: Christ is risen! And we, too, shall arise.

- Pastor Tobias Anderson