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Gottesblog

A blog of the Evangelical Lutheran Liturgy

Hold it Sacred, Especially on Easter

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It is not only the hearers, but the preachers who must hold preaching and God's words sacred, in accordance with the Third Commandment.

This mean, among other things, resisting the temptation to get 'cute' with preaching. I knew I'd have to brace myself for this year's parade of Easter sermons, knowing that many preachers would fall victim to this temptation due to the fact that this year's Easter fell on April 1st. Preachers, if you made even a passing reference to April Fool's Day in this year's Easter's homily, you probably need to repent. It's beneath the dignity of our Lord's glorious resurrection from the grave to liken it to a joke, in addition to which it is, in my opinion, shameless pandering to the hearers. 

April fools in themselves are fine. They're silly, enjoyable pranks to play on loved ones. I get that. But they have no place in an Easter sermon.

Easter is an occasion of joy, of unmitigated gladness, of glorying in the victory that Christ obtained over the grave for us. St. Paul's way of exulting over the resurrection is to refer to the hope of God's calling, the glory of God's inheritance in the saints, the exceeding greatness of his power, the setting of Christ at God's own right hand in the heavenly places, above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come. No hint there of anything so simplistic as finding or employing anything like an April Fool's theme. The contrast in content makes attempts at joining the two come off as infantile.

Thankfully, Easter will not fall on April 1st again until 2029, but there is this: Maundy Thursday does fall on April Fool's in just three years. Preacher, don't do it. Resist the temptation!