Lenten Greetings and Happy Easter!
Cancelling Easter Reflections: There is a nasty rumor going around Lima, Ohio and perhaps even other parts of the world, that President Donald Trump (R) has cancelled Easter in 2020 due to the Corona Virus. Well I am going to squash that rumor right now! Donald Trump did NOT cancel Easter in 2020! First of all Donald Trump is not that powerful. Trump cannot stop the anniversary of a literal historical event from the Life of Jesus. Jesus literally died on Good Friday and He literally rose again from the dead. Jesus is alive and all of the baptized and believing Christians will see Him face-to-face in Heaven someday and they see Him each time, they take Holy Communion and they read the Holy Scriptures. The Bread and Wine of Holy Communion are the literal Body and Blood of Jesus. Second of all Donald Trump is a Presbyterian Christian, so why would he even want to cancel Easter?
Some churches will be open on Easter Sunday and some will not be open sadly, but many of those closed churches will have their Easter Celebration Masses and Easter Worship Services online on Facebook and/or YouTube or they will mail bulletins with Scripture Readings and Sermons to their parishioners. Granted should any of them be closed due to the Corona Virus in my opinion? No, they should not be closed due to the Corona Virus, because Martin Luther continued to say public Masses in Wittenberg, Germany in the 1500's during the Bubonic Plague, which is a lot worse than the Corona Virus. You can find the Bubonic Plague in San Francisco, California in the homeless people's camps along with used drug needles and human liquid and solid waste on the ground.
The people, who are most affected by the Corona Virus itself, are senior citizens and people with serious health issues like asthma and low immune systems. Most of those people have opted to stay home from church due to the Corona Virus anyway and they are and were greatly missed. We must find more good and appropriate ways to protect the senior citizens and people with serious health issues in addition to isolating them from the Corona Virus. That is, why I have always supported restricting access to the nursing homes and other senior living facilities during the Corona Virus situation. However, we must never isolate them from Yahweh, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and the Holy Scriptures and the Gospel Message of Salvation, Which Jesus won the True Cross at Calvary and Which is delivered to people in the waters of Holy Baptism.
Young people like me are not affected like the senior citizens and people with serious health issues. Plus there needs to be a large group within the world's population, who are able to develop an immunity to the Corona Virus by either getting it and surviving or getting the Corona Virus vaccine, when it becomes available to the general public after its creation. If I get the Corona Virus, then I will either just be a carrier, which is still bad, or I will feel, like I have the flu. I know, how to deal with the flu and how to beat the flu. I had the flu so many times this flu season, that it became a temporary normal for me, which came and went like an annoying visitor, who keeps coming back.
Now if your Easter is about the Easter Bunny and giving and receiving presents, then your Easter will not be a Happy Easter this year. However, if your Easter is about Jesus resurrecting from the dead and being alive forever and ever for you, then your Easter can be a Happy Easter! Jesus died on Good Friday to save you from death, Hell, the grave, Satan, Satan's demons, Original Sin from Adam, and your own personal sins and He arose again from the dead on Easter Sunday aka Resurrection Sunday, so your Faith might not be in vain. Easter is still on, even if it's only online, in hearts, and in Heaven.
Let us read the Holy Gospel of St. John Chapter 20:
"The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the Sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the Sepulchre. 2 Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, 'They have taken away the Lord out of the Sepulchre, and we know not, where they have laid Him.' 3 Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the Sepulchre. 4 So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the Sepulchre. 5 And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. 6 Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the Sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, 7 And the napkin, that was about His Head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. 8 Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the Sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. 9 For as yet they knew not the Scripture, that He must rise again from the dead. 10 Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
11 But Mary stood without at the Sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the Sepulchre, 12 And seeth two Angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the Body of Jesus had lain. 13 And they say unto her, 'Woman, why weepest thou?' She saith unto them, 'Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not, where they have laid Him.' 14 And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not, that it was Jesus. 15 Jesus saith unto her, 'Woman, why weepest thou?' Whom seekest thou?' She, supposing Him to be the gardener, saith unto Him, 'Sir, if Thou have borne Him hence, tell me, where Thou hast laid Him, and I will take Him away.' 16 Jesus saith unto her, 'Mary.' She turned herself, and saith unto Him, 'Rabboni;' which is to say, 'Master.' 17 Jesus saith unto her, 'Touch Me not; for I Am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to My brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God.' 18 Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples, that she had seen the Lord, and that He had spoken these things unto her.
19 Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut, where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, 'Peace be unto you.' 20 And when He had so said, He shewed unto them His Hands and His Side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord. 21 Then said Jesus to them again, 'Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent Me, even so send I you.' 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost: 23 Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.'
24 But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them, when Jesus came. 25 The other disciples therefore said unto him, 'We have seen the Lord.' But he said unto them, 'Except I shall see in His Hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His Side, I will not believe.'
26 And after eight days again His disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, 'Peace be unto you.' 27 Then saith He to Thomas, 'Reach hither thy finger, and behold My Hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into My Side: and be not faithless, but believing. 28 And Thomas answered and said unto Him, 'My Lord and my God.' 29 Jesus saith unto him, 'Thomas, because thou hast seen Me, thou hast believed: blessed are they, that have not seen, and yet have believed.'
30 And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book: 31 But these are written, that ye might believe, that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through His Name" (KJV 1611).
April 2020 Book Signings:
1. I'll be having a book at The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio on Saturday April 4, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM. (This event is postponed due to my car needing repaired.)
2. I'll be having a book signing at the 2020 Arts Place Literature Festival held in Dicke Hall at Wright State Lake Campus in Celina, Ohio on Saturday April 18, 2020 from 9 AM to noon. (There is some uncertainty about the 2020 Arts Place Literature Festival taking place as scheduled, so I might have to go elsewhere.)
October 2020 Book Signing(s):
1. I'll be having a book signing at the Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show at the Vaughnsville Community Center in Vaughnsville from 11 AM to 5 PM.
Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show: I will be hosting the 2020 Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show on Saturday October 31, 2020 from 11 AM to 5 PM at the Vaughnsville Community Center on State Route 12 in Vaughnsville, Ohio. I'm looking for vendors to come and sell their merchandise. I'm pretty much open to anything legal and clean, but homemade baked goods and craft items are preferred. Please see my "2020 Vaughnsville Craft and Vendor Show: Vendor Entry Form" blog post for more information:
My Green Irish Angel Statues: My Green Irish Angel Statues are really cute! They are only $1 each and they make great gifts. I have three kinds: 1. Cross-Bearing Angels, 2. Praying Angels, and 3. Angels Holding Butterflies. I like the Cross-Bearing Angels the best, because they are carrying Crosses. Each one bearing a Cross reminds us, that Jesus died on the True Cross to save every single person from death, Hell, Satan, Satan's Demons, Original Sin from Adam and Eve, and their personal sins. They're available exclusively at Jen's Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on the corner High Street and Chestnut Street in between Circle K Gas Station and Zion Lutheran Church (NALC) in St. Marys, Ohio.
Stores Carrying My Books: My books, which I’ve written and published, are also available at the following stores: Brunner News Agency on Flanders Avenue in Lima, Ohio, Jen’s Furniture and Collectibles (JFC) on High Street in St. Marys, Ohio, The Menagerie at 1178 Indiana Avenue in the St. Marys Business Complex in St. Marys, Ohio, Readmore Hallmark Stores out at Eastgate Plaza and on Elm Street in Lima, Ohio, Wagner’s IGA Grocery Store in Minster, Ohio, and in the Shop section of my website ohioirishlutheranpress.com .
Thank you, Lenten Greetings, and Happy Easter!
James W. O’Flannery, President and Founder of Ohio Irish Lutheran Press (OIL Press)