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Alleluia! Christ is Risen!

By Vicar Lisa

I found this great article written by Ashley Tumlin Wallace (who is an author and wife of an Anglican priest) regarding the phrase we were using in church on Sunday: Alleluia! Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! Apparently, this phrase has been used from the first Easter morning to the present day to greet one another on Easter.

Alleluia is the Greek form of the Hebrew Hallelujah, which means Praise the Lord. We first find Hallelujah in the book of Psalms where it is two words, not one. Psalm 104, ends with the acclamation, “Praise the LORD.” The word “Praise” is Hallel, which is the greatest expression of praise for God in Hebrew. The second word is Jah and means LORD. So, Hallelujah is the greatest expression of praise that we can offer to God.

The Hebrew word Hallelujah was carefully preserved, untranslated, by the early Christians. They used it as their highest expression of thanksgiving, joy, and triumph. It can be found in the earliest Christian liturgies, such as the fourth century Liturgy of St. Mark.

“Christ is Risen!’ is adapted from Matthew 28. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary have come to the tomb of Jesus and found it empty. An angel tells them: “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee

“He has risen indeed” comes from Luke 24. After Jesus revealed himself to the two men on the way to Emmaus, and they ran back to Jerusalem and told the eleven disciples: The Lord has risen indeed and has appeared to Simon!”

The Easter Greeting can be found in some of the church’s earliest liturgies. And it is not just a way of greeting one another, it is also a proclamation of our faith. It reminds us that every time we shout it in church or greet one another with it of the hope and joy that we have in Christ, and it serves as a reminder that the resurrection is not just an event that happened in the past, but a present reality that we can experience in our lives today!

Alleluia! Christ is risen! The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Sunday, April 16

10 a.m. Worship with Holy Communion


Women's Bible Study: Our next study is at 9:30 a.m. Friday, April 14 in the Fellowship Hall. Study is every other Friday. Join in person or via Zoom at: -- Meeting ID: 875 7301 4829 -- Passcode: 304100, or call in: 301-715-8592.

Adult Education: Our study resumes this Sunday, April 16 at 11:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall. We are starting a series entitled by Heart, Conversations with Martin Luther’s Small Catechism.  Our next topic will be the Ten Commandments. Please join us for a 30-minute study every Sunday except when council meets.

Springtime Camping Trip: Jeff Smith has reserved the Piedmont Group Area for arrival May 18-20 (Thursday through Saturday) for our 2nd Annual Zion’s camping trip. We have lots of camping spots available for this adventure so plan on attending and invite friends and neighbors. There will be biking, hiking, fishing, a group picnic, and other fun activities.  A park pass is required for all attendees (annual or daily). Last year some people got lost trying to find the area so we have attached a map of the park layout. Please contact Jeff Smith if you have questions -- and 412-916-1826

Card Ministry for New Beginnings: The New Beginnings prison congregation has welcomed a new Pastor, Samm Melton-Hill. We have reached out to Pastor Samm and understand that they would greatly love to reinstated the card ministry with Zions. We are asking that members bring blank greeting cards and stationary that the inmates can use to write cards and letters to those they love and miss. There is a container in the fellowship hall on the table to collect them. Donations for postage is also appreciated.

Sunday, April 16 -- Second Sunday of Easter

The church keeps Easter for eight Sundays. Early Christians referred to Sunday as the eighth day, as if the normal week of seven is miraculously completed in an extraordinary eighth day. The 50 days culminates at Pentecost. Each Sunday, individually and communally, we meet the risen Christ in word and sacrament.

John 20:19-31

The church continues the pattern alluded to in John’s gospel, of assembling on the first day of the week to receive the Spirit of the cross and resurrection and to exchange the peace of Christ. As we expect of John, the narrative in chapter 20 testifies to the identity of Christ as Lord and God. For Christians, to touch Christ is to touch God, and we do this in the flesh of our neighbor’s hand at the peace and with the bread of Christ in our palm at communion.

Acts 2:14a, 22-32

Throughout the Sundays of the fifty days of Easter, passages from Acts proclaim the meaning of the resurrection. We build this Sunday upon this early Christian proclamation of God’s raising Jesus from the place of the dead to be the power of the church emerging throughout the world. Each Sunday we are witnesses of the resurrection.

1 Peter 1:3-9

In Year A, the second readings throughout the Easter season read semi-continuously through the letter of 1 Peter, which can be seen as an early example of post-baptismal catechesis. What does it mean to be baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ? This passage readies us to hear the narrative concerning Thomas and John’s words about whose who have seen the risen Christ and those who have not, all of whom are called to “an indescribably and glorious joy.”

Zion's Lutheran Church