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Mission Statement of St. Paul Lutheran Church & School

“The Mission of St. Paul Lutheran Church and School is to Equip, Support, Serve and Witness Where God Calls Us”

Statement of Purpose

The purpose of this congregation shall be to serve its members and spread the Kingdom of God by the preaching of the Word of God, by the administration of the Sacraments, by the religious instruction of children and adults, and by fostering Christian fellowship and charity according to the confessional standard of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod.

From Pastor’s Desk

EASTER

Why does Easter move around on the calendar? Have you ever thought about that? It moves around because it is tied to the Jewish festival of the Passover. The Hebrew calendar was a lunar calendar, unlike our current Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar. So the months of the Hebrew lunar calendar shift within the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, the date of Passover and consequently the date of Easter fluctuates.

The fact that Easter moves around the calendar might be interesting, and perhaps a bit trivial, but the fact that Easter is connected to the Passover is by no means trivial. It is extremely significant. As you may remember, the Passover is the Jewish celebration to commemorate the day that the Lord rescued the Israelites from slavery in Egypt. God sent Moses to Pharaoh and demanded that he release the Israelites. When Pharaoh refused, God sent down plague after plague until finally he sent the plague on the first born. The Lord instructed Moses to tell the Israelites in Exodus 12, to get a lamb without defect and put the blood of the lamb on the door of their house. “The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you” (Ex 12:13). The Israelites who had the blood on their door were spared, but the households of the Egyptians were not spared from the Lord’s judgment. Consequently, the first born in the household of all the Egyptians including Pharaoh’s household, died.

So what is the connection between the Passover and Easter? Jesus is “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world” (John 1:29). On the night of the Passover, Jesus shared the Passover meal with his disciples and instituted the Lord’s Supper. This is known in the church as Maundy Thursday. Then Jesus was arrested and sentenced to crucifixion. The next day, Good Friday, hanging on the cross, Jesus, the Lamb of God, became the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 5:7, “Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast – as you really are.  For Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed.” Now, covered in the blood of Jesus, we no longer fear judgment for our sins. Because of the blood of Christ, the Lord now passes over us and we are not judged for our sins. The climax of all of this is Easter. To show us that the Father really did accept Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf, he raised Jesus from the dead on Easter morning.

So when we celebrate, the date of Easter really doesn’t matter. What is important is that we know why we are celebrating. We celebrate Easter because Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Have a blessed Easter.

Pastor David Schmidt