With a voice of singing, declare, proclaim this, utter it to the end of the earth. Alleluia. The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob! Alleluia. (Isaiah 48:20, from the Introit for Easter 6)
He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. That's what's going to happen tomorrow. In all the corners of the earth there will be congregations--big ones and little ones--that will gather for one reason. The people are going to get together not because they need purpose, motivation, and empowerment in their lives, not because they need rules for their life, and not because they like being around their friends and family. The only reason they're gathered is to "sing, declare, and proclaim this: Yahweh has redeemed His servant Jacob!" (Isaiah 48:20).
That's what He does! The son yet Lord of Jacob came and redeemed him. He saved His people from their slavery and captivity, not just to Egypt or Babylon but to sin, death, and the power of the devil. And so, He was born, lived, died, and lived again. In that great act of salvation Jesus fulfilled what He promised Abraham, Jacob's grandfather, "In you all the families of the earth will be blessed" (Genesis 12:3).
Tomorrow we gather because of what Jesus has done. We gather to hear it again, to receive the gifts of His Word, His forgiveness, His Body and Blood. We gather to sing His praises and worship Him.
We'll sing that there is "on earth peace, goodwill toward men." We'll pray for us "to be gathered from the ends of the earth to celebrate with all the faithful the marriage feast of the Lamb in His kingdom, which has no end." We'll sing that the salvation that Jesus won in His death and delivers in His Body and Blood truly is "a light to lighten the Gentiles and the glory of His people Israel."
In big churches and small churches the message and joy will be the same: The Lord has redeemed His servant Jacob! Jesus did it. He did it for all. He did it for you. He is risen indeed! Alleluia! In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.
All the earth with joy is sounding; Christ has risen from the dead! He the greater Jonah, bounding From the grave, His three-day bed, Wins the prize: Death's demise--Songs of triumph fill the skies. (All the Earth with Joy Is Sounding, LSB 462:1)