St. Peter Lutheran Church
2929 F.M 972 (at F.M. 1105)
Walburg, Texas 78626

Office: (512) 863-5600
Worship Services - each Sunday 10:15 a.m.
Holy Communion - 1st & 3rd Sundays

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Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ

Last Updated:
Mar. 27, 2018


St. Peter Lutheran Church at Walburg, Texas
2017 - All Rights Reserved

The St. Peter Messenger    The St. Peter Messenger  Volume XXXI  Issue 7 April 2018

For the Lord will pass through to strike the Egyptians, and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts, the Lord will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer to enter your houses to strike you.

- Exodus 12:23

By the time many of you will get this we will be on the cusp of Easter. That name derives from an old Germanic Goddess, Ēostre. She was some pagan goddess worshipped by British ancestors and represented to them a rebirth in the seasons. When the Christians came they did what Christians often do, they repurposed the ideas of the people to explain theology. We still do this today with sermon illustrations, worship music, and outreach techniques. Its nice to know some things never change. All wisdom can be put to the service of God's proclamation.

Still, the word doesn't carry the same heft that it does in other languages. For the French, it is known as Pâques. The Swedes call it påsk. Our Celtic speaking British neighbors the Welsh call it Pasg. Perhaps no one nails it better than the Spanish who know it as: "Pascua de Resurrección". The root word may have been brought by Latins as they spread the good news of the Easter story, but the word itself is older still and it is hard to know what it really means. Some think it means "to sooth" and others think it could be "to harvest." Our best guess is that the Hebrew word "pasàch" means "skipping over."

There are plenty of things we do know. The word first appears in Exodus 12:23, at the defining point of the Hebrew people, their deliverance from Egypt when God's wrath skipped over the people of Israel. Also, it is a verb. That means its an action and activity. It is an activity of God.

In the Gospel of Luke (22:20) we find Christ and His disciples sitting observing the passover (pasàch) mean. It is here that He declares that the wine of communion and the blood of his sacrificial death, will establish a new covenant. This new covenant allows the destroyer who will fulfill the wages of sin and death (Romans 6:23) to "pass over" our transgressions (Isaiah 43:25). Isaiah promises this and we hear the echoes in Hebrews 8:12. In fact the rest of that chapter (especially 8:6-13) bears witness to this promise. It is because of these promises that the church saw just what Christ was doing. God was acting out a new pasàch in which the blood of this lamb would take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).

That is why the early Christians decided our ancestors would understand Easter. In a world burdened by sin and death, God would come and bring life again in His wake. On the cross, the world's sacrifice was placed; in the empty tomb, its rebirth began.

Pastor Philip