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Hausvater: /HAUS-fah-ter/
noun (German)
1. Housefather.
2. Spiritually responsible head of household, including the housefather as assisted by the housemother.
>> Example: "As the Hausvater should teach it [Christian doctrine] to the entire family ..."
(Martin Luther, Small Catechism, 1529)

First published Easter 2000, republished online for Easter 2016


Thick darkness falls deeper
layering the land;
in sorrow cries Someone,
“Where is the Lord’s hand?”

Distant, so distant
God’s presence recedes,
yet God’s hand is close—
nailed to the trees.

Blood flows and dries
in the sunlight now vanished;
for the sins of all people
God’s own Son is banished:

For the sin of those taunting
at the One on the tree—
they sneer, “Save thyself!”
to Him who saves me.

Afar in the Temple,
but so near in my heart,
a veil that once separated
is now torn apart.

The Christ breathes His last
as He gives up His life,
to breathe into me
God’s first breath of life.

The old Adam dies
that a new may be born—
when darkness becomes light
on the great Easter morn!

See also:


Dr. Ryan C. MacPherson is the founding president of The Hausvater Project. He lives with his wife Marie and their homeschool children in Casper, Wyoming, where he serves as Academic Dean and Professor of History and Philosophy at Luther Classical College. He previously taught American history, history of science, and bioethics at Bethany Lutheran College, 2003–2023. For more information, visit

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