Brothers and Sisters in Christ, grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ! I hope this newsletter finds you well!
We had a joyous Easter celebration this year! I don’t know about you, but it happens every year that somebody, either on Facebook, email, or in person, tries to make the assertion that “Easter” is the name of some ancient Babylonian fertility goddess “Ishtar,” and that celebrating Easter was celebrating Ishtar. It’s just simply not true. Just because the two words sound similar does not mean they are the same. In fact, they are from two completely different languages. So where does the word Easter come from?
Going way back, we find that Easter is an old Anglo-Saxon word that means, “to shine,” and could have been used to possibly describe the months of the year when the sun began to get brighter and higher during the day.
By 1525, in one of the earliest English translations of the Bible by William Tyndale, he used the Middle-English word “ester” = “Easter” as a translation for Passover and the day of Christ’s Resurrection. The word Easter also appears in the King James Version of the Bible.
Between its ancient usage of “to shine” and being a translation for Passover, the word had changed due to its Nordic roots. Historian Jürgen Udolph wrote in his article, “History of the Word Easter,” Ostern. Geschichte eines Wortes [D. H. Green The Modern Language Review Vol. 96, No. 1 (Jan., 2001), pp. 247-249] He traced the word Easter to the German word “Ostern,” which means Easter. Ostern itself, however, comes from the Nordic root word “ausa,” meaning “to pour water,” because it was the practice of the Early Church to baptize new converts on the night before Resurrection Sunday. Converts typically studied a catechism for an entire year before baptism, so it was no small event for them. The word Easter is then logically derived from the main service of baptism the night before Resurrection Sunday year after year. It’s kind of like how over time, the word Halloween and the practice of trick or treating derived from All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saints Day in the church.
The word "Easter" does not come from some ancient pagan goddess' name. It is derived from the baptism service handed down through the Nordic and Germanic language as Christianity spread into those regions, and Easter became derived from the season of pouring water when converts were baptized the day before Christ's Resurrection. I hope this but of information helps your understanding and maybe you can tuck this information away in case you are ever questioned about this subject in the future.
Coming up this month we are pleased to offer our Tastes of Foods From Around the World event sponsored by the Lutheran Women in Mission group. I will be blessing the animals and pets out at the Horry County Animal Shelter on 701 north of Conway. Lutheran Men look forward to celebrating Mother’s Day this month with a desert treat. We all look forward to observing Memorial Day. And we will welcome former members of New Life Lutheran Church into our congregation and others who have expressed interest in joining us. There will be a New Member Introduction and Orientation on May 21 at 10:00 am.
I understand that many of our folks will be traveling over the upcoming month of May. Mine and Glenda’s prayers go with you for a safe and happy trip and we look forward to seeing you upon your return! Safe travels!
I hope you have an a “may”zing month of May and ( May the 4th ) be with you!
God’s blessings to you!