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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Ta panta! All things restored!

Easter celebrates Christ's redemption of all creation

We stand today in the light of the Resurrection. With joy-filled hearts we can sing with all things, ta panta.

"All Creatures of our God and King. ... Burning sun, silver moon, rushing wind, clouds that ride, flowing waters, mother earth: Lift up your voice and with us sing! Alleluia! Alleluia!" (hymn phrases from Lutheran Book of Worship, 527).

This is the Easter song. Alleluia! Christ is risen! As the music of the season fills us, we share the story of the restoration of humanity to a place of healing relationship with God. Through this story we claim the new life promised in Christ's resurrection.

As a teen in the suburbs of Chicago, I recall looking at the starlit sky and thinking that God had a purpose for all God's wonderful creation. As I watched our first daughter grow, I knew that Christ had risen for her. As a first-year seminarian, I heard in the graveled voice of Lutheran theologian Joseph Sittler the idea that God had redeemed both the starry sky and the cute toddler.

I can recall the astonishment I felt for a long time as I explored this idea that was new to me. Seeing the corn and beans of the Illinois fields, I believed in God who blesses nature. In science classes in college, my faith was affirmed that everything--from the smallest atomic particle to the largest universe--was God's creation. But as a student in seminary, I was challenged to believe that God also redeems and restores all of the cosmos, just as God has redeemed you and me. In the Greek of the New Testament, the words echo in my head, ta panta, which means "all things."


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