03 June 2011

Homily for Fifth Sunday of Easter

The Fifth Sunday of Easter, Cantate (20 May 2011), drew our attention to the singing Church as we not only continue to celebrate the Lord's Resurrection, but also as we begin looking forward to the gift of the Holy Spirit. In the Holy Gospel from John 16:5-15, our Lord also addresses the sorrow that fills our lives. In the text, the disciples were sorrowful at the prospect of their Master leaving them. We have our many sorrows as well in this fallen world. So, our Lord's victory over death and His gift of the Holy Spirit lead us "From Sorrow to Singing." After all, our risen Lord Jesus heals our sorrow-filled hearts in order that we may sing His song of salvation.

One note on a specific detail in this homily. With great sadness and angst, Hope Lutheran Church in  St. Louis has had to close its Lutheran day school after 88 years of operation. Quite simply, due to declining enrollment (along with changing community, etc.) we could no longer afford to operate a day school. So this day, 20 May 2011, also brought the special event of an "Open House" in the afternoon. Many alumni of Hope Lutheran School - from as far back as the 8th grade class of 1960! - came to join us for the Divine Service and then to visit their beloved school one last time. Hence the greetings at the beginning and the application of the Lord's joyous song of salvation to us who sorrow at the close of our day school.

To listen to "From Sorrow to Singing," click on this link and download the audio file.

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