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Christ is risen; He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!

Alleluia means “Praise the Lord.” In many congregations, the word Alleluia has not been sung during Lent; it has been “buried” during our Lenten worship as we journeyed with Christ through his passion and death.

Now, on Easter Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ: joyful, exuberant voices sing out the victory of new life; music triumphantly rings out and fills the air; flowers and lilies join in the celebration and show forth their beauty and the pleasing scents created by the One by whom all things were made; candles remind us of the Light no darkness can overcome; and yes, even the Alleluias which had been buried during Lent are now resurrected.

One image of the resurrection is the image of the victorious Lamb of God. It is rich with biblical meanings, especially those that come from Revelation 5, on which the Hymn of Praise Worthy is Christ in our Lutheran liturgy is based. I invite you to prayerfully meditate on its words below:

This is the feast of victory for our God. Alleluia.

Worthy is Christ, the Lamb who was slain, whose blood set us free to be people of God. Power and riches, wisdom and strength, and honor and blessing and glory are his.

Sing with all the people of God, and join in the hymn of all creation: Blessing and honor, glory and might be to God and the Lamb forever. Amen.

For the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign. Alleluia.

To be sure, our lives and the world in which we live do not always feel like Alleluia moments. We are constantly reminded that we are a broken people living in a world saturated with sin, sickness, death, war, injustice, and poverty in body and soul. Nevertheless, our loving God does not abandon us, but personally entered this brokenness—by becoming one of us, walking with us, and suffering injustice and death. And through the resurrection of Jesus, God assures us that sin and death do not have the last word. And that’s an Alleluia moment to celebrate!

Scripture reminds us (Rom. 6:5), “… if we have been united with (Christ) in a death like his, we will certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” Jesus’ victory is our victory. Jesus’ triumph over sin and death is our triumph. We have new life in Christ. The powers and things that threaten to destroy us have been defeated. We have now been freed to live a life dedicated to God. We can now reflect to others the light and life that comes to us from our loving God, which is made possible by the selfless death and resurrection of Christ for us and for our salvation.

May these weeks in which we celebrate the resurrection of Christ, be for you a time of joyous reflection and celebration. For the Lamb who was slain has begun his reign. Alleluia!

+Bishop Wilma Kucharek