Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.
I thought about that when I read an excerpt from an Easter sermon that Hermann Sasse preached titled "The Incomprehensible Easter Message" (sadly, I couldn't seem to find the full sermon anywhere online).
What makes this passage particularly interesting to me is that it's a sermon Sasse preached on Easter Sunday way back on April 17th, 1938, in Erlangen, Germany, and yet, it's as relevant to 2016 as if he had preached it today! It also reminded me of a picture that was making the rounds on social media this week of the NYC Skyline during Easter 1956.
Upon my memory there is indelibly imprinted the image of something I saw years ago at Easter time in New York City. At one of the busiest spots in the city, where day and night a vast crowd of people thronged to and fro, someone had suspended a banner between two skyscrapers with the words CHRIST IS RISEN inscribed upon it. Day and night the large letters shouted out across the sea of buildings of this world-city, so that none of the hundreds of thousands who went past it daily could ignore the message: CHRIST IS RISEN.
This has been the Easter greeting of the church since days of old: CHRIST IS RISEN, HE IS RISEN INDEED! With that greeting and reply Eastern Christendom still resounds, and not only in church, where we say it at the beginning of the Easter service, but also at home and on the street. We probably should ask ourselves whether we ought not write this greeting across our own cities by means of modern technology. Certainly, it must have had an unforgettable impact upon all those who saw that neon sign hanging over New York; they could not escape the question which comes to us today at Easter: What does the message of the resurrection of Christ have to say to our world today?
What does the message of the resurrection of Christ say to our world today? Is there any room for it in a world whose thinking is determined by modern science, in which lives are shaped by the wonders of human technology and ingenuity? Does this message make sense any more in a world of political and social revolution, when new worldviews fill people’s minds? Or, does the message live today only as a remarkable monument to the religious life of a bygone age? Is it possible that in this 20th century it should conjure up any response apart from the mockery of modern “explanations” or a Faustian doubt?
Boy, just that last paragraph alone is such an accurate description of the times we live in, isn't it?
In a Lutheran layman's terms, times may change, but the truth never changes, and the truth is that Christ is risen!
NOTE: Please understand that I'm not a called and ordained minister of God's Word and Sacraments. I'm a layman or just a regular Christian, Corporate Recruiter, Husband, Father, Friend who lives in the "City of Good Neighbors" here on the East Coast. As another Christian Blogger once wrote, "Please do not see this blog as me attempting to 'publicly teach' the faith, but view it as an informal Public Journal of sorts about my own experiences and journey, and if any of my notes here help you in any way at all, then I say, 'Praise the Lord!' but please do double check them against the Word of God and with your own Pastor." To be more specific, and relevant to the point I want to make with this disclaimer/note, please understand that I'm a relatively new convert to Confessional Lutheran who recently escaped American Evangelicalism a little more than 3 years ago now. That being said, please contact me ASAP if you believe that any of my "old beliefs" seem to have crept their way into any of the material you see published here, and especially if any of the content is inconsistent with our Confessions and Lutheran doctrine (in other words, if it's not consistent with God's Word, which our Confessions merely summarize and repeatedly point us back to over and over again) so that I can correct those errors immediately and not lead any of His little ones astray (James 3:1). Also, please be aware that you might also discover that some of the earlier/older pieces I wrote for this blog back in 2013 definitely fall into that "Old Evangelical Adam" category (and they don't have a disclaimer like this) since I was a "Lutheran-In-Name-Only" at the time and was completely oblivious to the fact that a Christian "Book of Concord" even existed (Small/Large Catechism? What's that!?!). This knowledge of the Lutheran basics was completely foreign to me even though I was baptized, confirmed, and married in an LCMS church! So, there are some entries that are a little "out there" so-to-speak since the subject matter was also heavy influenced by those old beliefs of mine. I know that now and I'm still learning. Anyway, I decided to leave those published posts up on this website and in cyberspace only because they are not blasphemous/heretical, because I now have this disclaimer, and only to demonstrate the continuing work of Christ and the Holy Spirit in my life (Hebrews 12:2; Philippians 1:6). Most importantly, please know that any time I engage in commenting on and/or interpreting a specific portion of the holy Scriptures, it will always closely follow the verse-by-verse footnotes from my Lutheran Study Bible and/or include references to the Book of Concord unless otherwise noted. Typically, I defer to what other Lutheran Pastors both past and present have already preached and taught about such passages since they are the called and ordained under-shepherds of our souls here on earth. Finally, I'm going to apologize ahead of time for the length of most entries (this disclaimer/note is a perfect example of what I mean! haha). I'm well aware that blogs should be short, sweet, and to the point, but I've never been one to follow the rules when it comes to writing. Besides, this website is more like a "Christian Dude's Diary" in the sense that everything I write about and share publicly isn't always what's "popular" or "#trending" at the time, but is instead all the things that I'm studying myself at the moment. For better or for worse, these posts tend to be much longer than most blog entries you'll find elsewhere only because I try to pack as much info as possible into a single piece so that I can refer to it again and again over time if I need to (and so that it can be a valuable resource for others -- if possible, a "One-Stop-Shop" of sorts). Thank you for stopping by and thank you in advance for your time, help, and understanding. Feel free to comment/email me at any time. Grace and peace to you and yours!