“He is risen! He is risen, indeed!”
Dear Redeemer Family:
We didn’t really get to celebrate Easter together last year. The pandemic closed down all of the in person worship services. We did manage to start streaming our worship services, which was a learning process in itself. Thank you to Charles and Stephanie Roop for diving into that process for us, and sometimes, it was a painful process. And, we continue to stream our services, which is good for many people who are still unable to attend services in the building. But, we didn’t really get to celebrate Easter today. Well, we did get to celebrate the tail end of it together when we briefly were able to reopen the church services during the end of Spring and beginning of Summer. You see, Easter isn’t a day. It is a season. Easter this is year is April 4th through May 22nd. Easter, as a season, is fifty days long. And it ends, on the Church calendar, in the Church itself raised up by the Spirit at Pentecost. And if you want to even further, every day is a celebration of Easter. Why? Because every day is a declaration of the Resurrection of Christ for us.
The Easter season starts out with dwelling on the resurrection appearances, and then moves back in the gospels to Jesus’ farewell speeches while simultaneously moving forward in the book of Acts as the gospel spreads. During the Season of Easter, there are no Old Testament lessons. Rather, we get a “First Lesson” from the book of Acts. Each week we are called not only to look for the risen Christ’s presence deeper and deeper in our own lives, but also to ponder where the Spirit of the risen Christ might be pushing us deeper into the world.
The time after Pentecost will offer us plenty of opportunity to sink back into the story of Jesus and his earthly ministry, but in the Easter season, the ministry of Christ is the ministry of the church. The bodies that proclaim the resurrection are our bodies – baptized, fed at the table, and sent out to embrace a changing world. There is no gap between the first-century church and our twenty-first-century joys and concerns, because we are one with that church in the communion of saints.
No, Easter is not a one day celebration. It is a celebration which began on the morning of the Resurrection of Our Lord in 30AD, and has continued to the present time. And it will continue into the future. The celebration of Christ’s being raised from the dead is the turning point of all of world history. And it is the date from which we count the world and ourselves being made new creations in Christ, to the glory of God the Father. Thanks be to God!