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After-Easter Life!

After-Easter Life

Easter is a woefully under-celebrated holiday in the Western Church. We do an awesome job with Christmas, almost too good. We start celebrating Christmas a month or two in advance of the actual day. With Easter, however, we have a “Holy Week” leading up the Easter but it is a mournful time for the most part until we get to Easter Sunday. But after that one day, everything stops cold. Pastors go on vacation, worn out by the events of Holy Week, and the parishioners go to the beach for spring break (formerly known as “Easter break”), or simply back to life as normal. But if we were to celebrate Easter in a manner more appropriate to the magnitude of this holiday, we would deliberately practice acts of faith, generosity and love throughout the weeks following Easter. Of course, it is the calling of the Christian to live in an Easter celebration throughout our entire lives. That is what it means to be a Christian, to be resurrection people, people who behave as though something radically good and new has happened to the entire cosmos. Namely, that God has overthrown the power of sin and death and has taken up His power and has begun to reign. Jesus’ announcement that the Kingdom of God is arriving on earth as it is in heaven, has been validated through the cross and resurrection. But it would be very helpful for the world to understand what Easter is about if we made a conscience and deliberate effort to perform acts of faith and good deeds immediately following Easter so that people would begin to ask what it is all about. If a young boy could give up his lunch so that Jesus could feed five thousand people with it, what might Jesus do with the offerings that we bring him in this Post-Resurrection world that we live in? If Jesus healed the sick and announced the forgiveness of sins as part of His Kingdom-of-God announcement, surely this side of the resurrection we should be even more assured of God’s healing and forgiving power. And if Jesus said that “the Spirit of the Lord is upon Me to preach good news to the poor, to set the captives free, and to bind up the broken hearted and proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” (Luke 4:18) And if Jesus said, after His resurrection, “As the Father sent Me into the world, so I am sending You…” (John 20:21), then maybe the week following Easter would be the perfect time to volunteer to work at the call center that rescues boys and girls from sex trafficking, or to send money to Christians serving the poor in Kenya, or to support those proclaiming the Gospel in the unreached areas of Tanzania, or to write letters to Christians who are in prison for the cause of the Gospel… Easter is THE MOST important Christian holiday. Please, join with me in working to restructure our traditions to reflect this truth. I have no doubt that as we practice celebrating Easter well each year, it will begin to become a habit of the heart that gets celebrated all year long, every year. This is what we are called to do and what it means to be a Christian.

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