Dear Members and Friends at Trinity Lutheran Church,
Having passed through Holy Week and Good Friday we arrive at the resurrection. What do we do ? What do poor souls do who are burdened by sin? How do we deal with the cross that shows us the great wrath God has toward sin? Luther exhorts,
"After man has thus become aware of his sin and is terrified in his heart, he must watch that sin does not remain in his conscience, for this would lead to sheer despair. Just as [ our knowledge of ] sin flowed from Christ and was acknowledged by us, so we must pour this sin back on Him and free our conscience of it. Therefore beware, lest you do as those perverse people who torture their hearts with their sins and strive to do the impossible, namely, get rid of their sins by running from one good work or penance to another." (Luther's Works, Vol 42, p 13f).
We don't jump from good work to good work after Holy Week as a means of satisfaction of sins. That would miss the point. Rather having come to The Feast of the Resurrection let us follow Luther's words and gaze up into the "friendly heart" of Jesus. Luther writes:
"...See His friendly heart and how this heart beats with such love for you that it impels Him to bear, with pain, your conscience and your sind. Then your heart will be filled with love for Him, and the confidence of your faith will be strengthened. Now continue and rise beyond Christ's heart to God's heart and you will see that Christ would not have shown this love for you if God in His eternal love had not wanted this, for Christ's love for you is due to His obedience to God (ibid)."
Through Holy Week into Easter let us move from the burden of sin to the bright countenance of a person who has seen the heart of God. Know that He is "for you." See that He is favorably disposed toward you. Let it be your firm conviction that His heart is a friendly one and filled with love for His people.