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Evalgelical Lutheran Church in America Northeastern Ohio Synod
Letters from Pastor Alan Smearsoll

May 2019

Easter greetings! Until the 9th of June when the church celebrates Pentecost, we are in the Easter season. The season is fifty days of celebrating the Resurrection. He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

What’s that you say? You put away all the Easter decorations already? The celebration of Easter, the joy of Easter worship has faded into the background for another year? While the day itself has come and gone and life goes on as it did the day before our Easter worship, the joy still resides in our hearts and in our witness.

Every day of worship is a “little Easter.” Though the flowers are long gone and the throngs of Christmas and Easter people have gone into hibernation from church until Christmas, our worship reflects the risen Lord in song, word and prayer.

We need this little reminder in our daily lives. One day a week we gather together to offer our worship and praise, giving thanks to the God who brings life from death. Often times in our hectic, chaotic and sometimes troubled lives, we need to remember that God is not “out there somewhere” but is right there in the midst of our day, no matter what it brings.

When you worship, you “die.” You die to your old sinful self and rise in newness of life, a new creation. You come before your Creator confessing that you are not in control, that you are not “god” no matter how hard you try. You repent of your sinful actions or inactions and humble yourself before God. Then you hear wonderful words – “in the name of Jesus, you are forgiven all your sins.” The burden you carried into worship has been taken to the cross and is left there for Jesus to take. You are free – you are alive again! The bread and wine you take into yourself is a physical way God assures you of this. You touch Jesus. You remember. He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Nothing that life can throw at you can defeat you. The devil that seems to wriggle his way into your life in various ways and cause confusion and doubt cannot remain because the victory has been won.

Remember, you don’t “go to church,” you “come to worship.” There is a big difference. Together with others who are facing the day to day trials of this world, we gather and bear witness to the one who went to the cross so you can bear yours. We are reminded of God’s love for us even though we don’t deserve it, and we receive the assurance of God’s promise of salvation, of new life. We have hope! I can do nothing – God can do everything!

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Come and worship. Come and be fed with the bread of life – Jesus Christ our risen Lord.

Pastor Alan

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