And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing; everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. –Isaiah 51:9-11
Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed! Alleluia, Alleluia!
The opening prayer for Easter Sunday in the For All the Saints Lutheran prayer book says, “Today is the day of Easter joy. This is the morning on which the Lord appeared to men who had begun to lose hope and opened their eyes to what the Scriptures foretold, that first He must die, and then He would rise and ascend into His Father’s presence. May the risen Lord breathe on our minds and open our eyes that we may know Him in the breaking of bread, and follow Him in His risen life.”
For all who have begun to lose hope, today is a day for joy. For all who are struggling in life, or lonely, or depressed, or facing challenges, today is a day to have renewed hope and to once again find joy in living! We return to church with singing, and there we obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away as we hear the good news that Jesus, who was crucified, is risen and has appeared to Mary Magdalene, Peter and the others! Death is no more, for Christ is alive!
If you are able, make your way to Easter worship where the whole Church on earth will sing hymns of praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you are having this devotion by yourself, are homebound, or for some reason are unable to join together with the Body of Christ for Easter Sunday, know that you are still part of the redeemed community, and that the Church will be praying for you, that together, our Alleluias will span the distance, and fill the whole world with joy and gladness.
Taken from Wendel, David, From Ashes to Easter, Ashes Lenten Devotional Booklet, North American Lutheran Church.