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April 2023 Tidings from Bethlehem

Dear Friends in Christ, In a few days we’ll shout Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia! But to get there we end our time in Lent, wave the palms on Palm Sunday and experience the great Three Days. “The Three Days are the most important part of the Christian calendar because they mark Jesus’ last days, death, and resurrection. These days (approximately three 24-hour periods) begin on Maundy Thursday evening and conclude on Easter evening. On Maundy Thursday we hear the story of Jesus’ last meal with his disciples and his act of service and love in washing their feet. On Good Friday we hear of Jesus’ trial, crucifixion, death, and burial. On Saturday, at the nighttime Easter Vigil, we hear stories about the amazing things God has done for us. It is a night of light, Scripture readings, baptismal remembrance, and communion- the greatest night of the year for Christians. On Easter Sunday we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and our new lives in Christ.” (From the Lutheran Handbook) Jesus’ resurrection changes everything! We are invited to be part of that change, people who transform. Our lives are always changing. Sometimes it’s easy to see, like a lost tooth or a growth spurt in a child. Colors change in spring as the grass becomes bright and green after a period of being brown in the winter. Other changes take a little longer, like rock getting worn away by water or changing habits that we’ve had for years. The resurrection of Jesus, the Creator, the Rescuer, the Savior, means that change is possible for us each day. We are changed irrevocably, from a broken sinner to a saved and redeemed child of God with the promise of eternal life. And remember, we continue to shout Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia! throughout the season of Easter. It’s not just one day but six weeks, an entire season to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Peace, Pastor Ellen