Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
“Whew! Easter is over!” I’m sure some variant of those words was uttered in countless church offices, pastors’ and musicians’ homes, not to mention by tired-out volunteers: those who decorate the church, serve as assisting ministers, ushers, counters, or altar guild, those who set up for fellowship and welcome visitors. Holy Week can be an exhausting time for those of us in the church, and it is certainly not limited to the professionals.
I hope this doesn’t sound like complaining. Holy Week is one of my favorite times, and Easter morning just might be my favorite service of the year. But it can definitely be tiring, and so I was one of those breathing a sigh of relaxation to the words, “Easter is over!”
And yet, Easter is just beginning. The lilies and daffodils may begin to wilt, and we’ll eventually finish all those hard-boiled eggs (the chocolate variety being gone already!), but the season of Easter continues a whole fifty days. These fifty days are a time of festival celebration in the church year, culminating on the Day of Pentecost, this year, May 20th.
These days mark the time that the resurrected Christ spent among his disciples before his ascension to heaven. Throughout these days we will ponder together what the resurrected life looks. Our readings in church will offer glimpses of resurrection: Christ eating with his disciples, the community gathering together, Jesus walking with us through life.
These days are a good time for us to consider where we experience Easter, where we experience resurrection, in our own lives. Or perhaps, where do see a need for resurrection in our own lives? Where are our hearts yearning to be made new? Where is our world crying out—in celebration or in need?
Holy Week may be over for another year, but the joyous and hopeful season of Easter is just beginning. May these fifty days draw you closer to the mystery of Christ’s resurrection and to the wonderful promise and possibility of what God is making new in your life.