March 2013

Dear Friends in Christ,

I’ve done it for years… gathering with God’s people in one cemetery or another across Northern Illinois early on Easter morning. I have waded through fallen leaves and have had light snow pile up on my shoulders. I’ve done it holding an umbrella and once or twice had to shield my eyes against the rising sun. The worship is quieter than the boisterous “Alleluia’s” which are normally ours to share. The crowd is usually smaller.

Still, when I was asked a few years back, “Why in the world would you have an Easter service in the cemetery?!?” I quietly answered, “I can’t think of a better place.” For it was in a cemetery that the Good News of the first Easter was proclaimed, after all, when the women who came to anoint the body of Jesus were met by angels who said, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” (Luke 24:5) Indeed, for all of us who have also traveled to cemeteries to grieve, to question, and to hope, can you think of a more fitting place to tell again the story of Jesus’ resurrection. Can you think of a better place to be reminded that because of Jesus’ rising from the dead, death did not, does not win?

Yes, I’ve done this for years — but it will be a little different this time as we will gather at Fairview Cemetery in DeKalb — within view of where my own dad is buried, not far from a grave I myself have tended. This time it will be in a place where I have most needed to hear this good news. Perhaps, whether this is ‘your cemetery’ or not, it might still be a place where you need to hear this good news as well.

So be a part of worship with First Lutheran Church on Easter morning, March 31 this year. Bundle up and come to Fairview Cemetery at 7:00 am. Or join the crowds at church at 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM to be reminded of God’s great love for you in the gift of life that never ends. And be sure to join in the Easter Breakfast hosted by our youth beginning at 10:00 AM.

I look forward to seeing you then!

Peace to you and many blessings,

Pastor Janet