getting out the WORD - the second sunday of easter PDF Print E-mail

the PRAYER...
Almighty and eternal God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith in you and receive the fullness of Christ's blessing, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

the READING...
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you."

John 20:19-31

Most of us have learned to look at Good Friday and Easter from the perspective of sin and forgiveness alone. We fall short. We miss the mark. Therefore, we deserve punishment. Endless! Awful! However, since god loves us, god gives Jesus to "take our medicine" for us. It's called the substitutionary theory of atonement and it's one of the pillars of "conservative" christianity here in the good, old U.S. of A.

But this year, as I reread the hymn I sent out last week, I realized there was none of that! No sin! No punishment! No in-place-of! Instead, there's only Jesus! It's more like Luther's "A Mighty Fortress"! Breaking the cruel oppressor's rod! Winning salvation glorious! The cross is a cosmic battle! God against evil! God against all that holds us captive! Sin! Death! Devil! Christus Victor it's called! Christ not victim, but victor! Not conquered, but conqueror! Not vanquished, but vanquisher! And we're drawn along in the wake!

The strife is o'er, the battle done... all because of Jesus! The strife is o'er, the battle done... all because of the cross!

Bob Barndt, pastor

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