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

May 2022

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Easter reminds us that God is always up to something, and it is always good and often unexpected. We might settle in to the comfortable and normal routines of life, but God has a way of stirring things up. Wait, maybe I have that wrong. In our sinfulness, we have a way of stirring things up. God has a way of taking that mess we’ve made and reconciling it to God’s desire for us.

There’s a mess with Russia and Ukraine. It is painful to see because what is taking place should never have been. War is human sinfulness at its worst. We lift our prayers and plead with God for an end to the nonsense trusting that God will bring them out of conflict of war. We don’t know what this will look like in the aftermath, but we do know that God is making all things new and the promise of the empty tomb is new life. It will be different, but better because death and destruction is not in God’s plans for this world, only ours.

Easter people understand this. Easter people live this. It is not “optimism.” It is not “the glass is always half-full” mentality. It is living in the reality of the shadow of the cross (the reality of this world) with complete faith and trust in the light of the resurrection. Easter people know God has better things in store, albeit often times it is a “wait and see” attitude.

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! These are the words that make the devil cringe! These are the words that sustain a weary heart. These are the words that uplift a grieving soul. These are not just idle words that we shout out on Easter Sunday because it is something we do. These are words that shake the foundation of evil and let the distraught know that all will be OK.

We keep these words in our worship service year round as a reminder that we are an Easter people who live in the hope of the resurrection every day. How do these words speak to your situation today? May they bring you the assurance that God is doing a new thing right now!

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia! Blessed Easter everyone!

Pastor Alan 

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Salem, OH 44460