As I write this, we have daffodils blooming in our garden and the crocus plants are popping up out of the ground in front of our home. It’s a sign of spring.
As I write this, our middle-school and high school students are back together in the school building, all together, for the first time…in a year. It’s a sign…hopefully a sign that we are “turning the corner” on the pandemic.
As I write this, our congregation is deep into preparation for Easter, the celebration of the resurrection. Musicians are rehearsing, worship plans are being finalized, flowers to decorate the church are being delivered. It’s a sign. A sign that Easter is coming.
We look for signs. Signs point us towards what is next. Signs give direction. Signs can teach us. Sometimes signs give warning.
Easter is a celebration of Jesus’ resurrection, and of Christ’s victory over sin and death. It is a day when we are reminded that death does not have the last word. No, in fact, we are reminded that all of God’s people are the inheritors of the gift of eternal life.
But beyond this, Easter is a sign. It points us in a new direction.
So, if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!2 Corinthians 5:17
The gift of the resurrection for God’s people is restoration and renewal. The promises of God literally make us new creations. Every single day, we receive the gifts of new life and hope. And because of that, we have the opportunity, I’d even say the responsibility, to be the hands and feet of God, helping to restore and renew the world.
Because of the resurrection, we have the opportunity to feed the hungry, to care for those in need, to share what we have been given with the poor and to speak out on behalf of those who have been marginalized or oppressed. We get to do these things.
It is not an obligation, but it is a holy responsibility. It is a call.
The resurrection miracle changes us and through it, Jesus calls us to change the world. Easter is a sign that directs us to what is next. It points us on the path of servanthood. It directs us.
Follow the sign. Celebrate the resurrection, but always remember that it is more than a single day, or a family event. It is a call, and a responsibility to follow on Christ’s path, and to love our neighbor with the love of God.
Christ is risen indeed!
Todd Buegler is the senior pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church. He and Lori have been married for 26 years and have two sons, Nathan and Samuel.
This devotional was originally published as a “Pastor’s Perspective” column in the Owatonna People’s Press, April 3, 2021