The Everlasting April Fool’s Day

In the movie, The Usual Suspects, Kevin Spacey plays a stuttering, seemingly harmless and cowering eye witness to a string of murders attributed to a crime lord named Keyser Soze. The setting is an investigator’s office and Spacey recounts what he saw, as the audience tries to figure “who done it”. The movie ends with Spacey walking out of the police station with a pitiful limp. The camera zooms in on his awkward gait, each black shoe appearing to fall over the other. Slowly, but surely, the farther Spacey gets away from the station, the more the limp seems to miraculously disappear. The camera zooms out and a mischievous grin appears on his face as the narrator says, “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.”

Satan is a trickster. He is a liar, deceiver, murderer, and predator. He operates in the shadows, snatching up seeds of faith planted in hearts as we learn from the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:19). Satan, similar to Kevin Spacey in the movie, can spin a story, as it were, to convince even the most meticulous investigator that he is not the “usual suspect.” Satan does his dirty work in the dark, presuming the joke is on you, the sufferer of his schemes.

Leading up to that first Easter morning, Satan thought the victory was his. The Son of God was dead. The plan of salvation seemingly foiled. In those pre-dawn hours as the women went to the tomb, there was not much hope to be had. The fourth verse of “Go to Dark Gethsemane”, the hymn we’ve been learning every Sunday in Lent during the Catechetical message, sings, “Early hasten to the tomb, where they laid His breathless clay. All is solitude and gloom, who has taken Him away?” If the death of Jesus was not enough to bring grief to His followers, His seemingly missing body would have been the devastating blow to their psyche. But the story and likewise the hymn does not end with solitude and gloom, but instead: “Christ is risen, He meets our eyes; Savior teach us so to rise!”

Just when Satan thought he had been promoted from “prince of this world” to “king of the universe” with Jesus’ death, Christ rose again on the third day and defeated sin, death, and the evil one’s power once and for all. Jesus lives, the victory’s won! Satan loses.

This year, Easter Sunday falls on April Fool’s Day. The joke is on Satan! And the joke is everlasting, for Christ’s victory can never be overturned, overruled, or altered. He is King of Creation, the first fruit of the Resurrection, and the Savior of the world. As we celebrate Easter this year, may we ever be mindful of the greatest victory ever won. By faith, Christ’s victory becomes our victory. This is no secret, there is no deception, and there are no unusual suspects. We know who the Victor is: He is Christ! We know who the loser is: it is Satan.

The greatest “trick” God ever pulled was allowing Satan to think he ever had a chance of winning in the first place. The resurrection of Jesus was no “trick”, however, but the eternal reality and truth that He is risen! He is risen, indeed, Alleluia! And because He lives, through repentance and by faith in Jesus for the forgiveness of sins, we, too, shall arise to life eternal!

In Christ, Pastor Hromowyk

WORSHIP SCHEDULE

Sunday Worship Services - 8:00 A.M. and 10:30 A.M.
Compline Services, Wednesday's - 7:00 P.M.


 

COMMUNION SCHEDULE
 

8:00 A.M. First and Third Sundays

10:30 A.M. Second and Fourth Sundays

Fifth Sunday, Both Services

COMMUNION STATEMENT
Special note to our visitors and guests: Because those who eat and drink our Lord’s body and blood unworthily do so to their great harm and because Holy Communion is a confession of the faith which is confessed at this altar, any who are not yet instructed, in doubt, or who hold a confession differing from that of this congregation and The Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod, are kindly asked to refrain from partaking of the Sacrament until first speaking with our Pastor.

Wednesday Night Service/Bible Study

The Wednesday Services will resume in April begining at 7:00 P.M. in the Sanctuary, followed by Bible Study in the Family Room. Private Confession and Absolution will be available from 6:15 P.M. - 6:45 P.M.  in Pastor Hromowyk's office.

April 4th, Devine Setting 3 with Holy Communion
April 11th, Compline Service
April 18th, Compline Service
April 25th, Compline Service