It's Still Easter
Easter Sunday came and went.
We celebrated in style at my church. There was fanfare, special music, and crowds of people dressed fit for photos.
And there were flowers. Beautiful flowers.
Many of us left church yesterday to go to lunch, set up an Easter egg hunt for our kids, or rest. And that was the extent of our celebration of the defining moment in Christian history.
But Easter isn't over. The historic church calendar indicates that those who call themselves Christians are now in the Season of Easter, which takes us all the way to the Season of Pentecost.
If you don't attend a church where these things matter all that much, I can understand why this might seem odd. I spent most of my formative years never learning anything about the beautiful and historical rhythms of the Church.
We need these rhythms now more than ever. We need to find footing in these traditions that help us keep God's time rather than our own. The world seems out of control, and hope is hard to come by for many of us.
Let's keep Easter going a bit longer, shall we? We need to be reminded again of the message we received on Easter Sunday morning- that Christ is risen, and the Tomb is still empty.
There is power in that message. It's the kind of power that transcends all the ways we divide the Body of Christ (the Church) into warring factions.
This power can transform us into living, breathing embodiments of Jesus. It's the power that can bring hope in a seemingly hopeless world.
I read this snippet of an article the other day, and it really resonated with me:
The stories keep coming... rich and poor, young and old, from the east and the west, the north and the south all telling of how Jesus has changed their lives. Because the tomb is empty, our hearts can be full. - Alex Hawke
So tell someone, "Happy Easter!" today, and blow their minds. They might think you have lost it, but then you can explain to them why you are saying it.
You can tell them that your faith requires something of you when it comes to the whole Resurrection thing---namely, that it's not just a one-time/one-day event.
Easter is a mindset.
You carry the Resurrection within you when you live into the hope that it offers. And that hope takes many forms, as many forms as people who choose to believe.
So much of our national discourse lately centers around the hopeless divisions and irrevocable differences between us and our neighbors who are different from us. There are more than a few days when I find it hard to believe there is any way forward for us as a society any longer.
But then I experience the kindness of strangers or witness the transformation of someone who lets go of anger and forgives. Or I have my eyes opened to see that there is glory still in the world- a world filled with the Divine presence.
There are moments when I suddenly feel like everything will be okay in the end, and if it isn't okay, it isn't the end.
The Resurrection helps us see that there is more.
I am reminded as I write this of a quote in Stephen King's Dark Tower trilogy that has always stayed with me for some reason:
"Go then; there are other worlds than these."
There are "other worlds" on the other side of our struggles to live into the beauty of the Resurrection, worlds of wonder, worlds of peace, worlds filled with new life, new hope, and new expressions of faith.
Happy Easter. Christ has still risen. The tomb is still empty. Keep celebrating, and live in hope.
And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.