Did you know that it is more than one day?
Easter, for Christians, is a 50-day period. The season of Easter, or Eastertide, begins at sunset on the eve of Easter and ends on Pentecost – which I cannot wait to tell you about! The season of Easter gives us a chance to reflect with more depth and breadth on the profound meaning of the resurrection of Jesus.
Easter is a day, but it is so much more. It took us 40 days to journey to the cross, so it just seems fitting that we take even longer to live in the after party. This is the time when we cast aside the pensive nature of waiting and fully devote ourselves to the act of celebration. Just as we were invited during Holy Week to enter into darkness and contemplate how we have in our own ways crucified Christ, we now are invited to live in the resurrection as we celebrate the risen Christ and honor the things that bring us new life, both big and small.
For fifty days, we are called to view all of life through the lens of a Sunday feast. Rather that fast, we are called to dwell in the abundance of the kingdom of God as we name and celebrate our places of resurrection. I must stop for a moment and point out a piece of resurrection joy that I have only recently embraced. The hope of resurrection is not a feeling of happiness. Matter of fact, it is not a feeling at all. Our hope is found in the critical aspect of the unseen knowledge that it is our Creator that holds together all of the hope and love and trust and grace that we don’t have the human capacity to explain or express.
I say all of this to remind myself and others that we do not have to be in a season of happiness to rest in the joy of resurrection. I would go so far as to say that it is actually a MORE profound Easter proclamation to be in the midst of pain and injustice and death and cancer and depression and the desire to drink and still continually trust in the restoration of Jesus. That kind of hope will preach a powerful sermon.
For me, living in resurrection is not a scripture quoting, WWJD spouting, prayer bead grasping, KSBJ listening experience. Let me be honest, some days, I just don’t feel very Jesus-y. Instead, living in Eastertide is about showing up on the hard days, suiting up for the battle days and praying up on the powerless days. Because when I do that in the midst of all that life throws at me, I realize that my acts of relational connections and writing and reaching out to others in hope are the best ways for me to be a person of Easter.
The invitation of Eastertide is to look for moments in everyday life and lean into them as you seek to live out and celebrate the kingdom of God and the renewal that it brings. This means in the obvious times and in the times that feel anything but celebratory. Eastertide and the continual proclamation of resurrection is a call that in all things – did you hear me say that? all things – God is doing a redeeming work in you and me.