Friday, April 1, 2016

Easter Is Not "Over" Yet!

We have made some strange modern amendments to our most ancient Christians traditions.

It seems, for example, that Christmas is so heavily influenced by commercialism that it starts the day after Thanksgiving and ends on December 26. When we succumb to the frenzy, we miss out on the whole spirituality of Advent longing, and forget that Christmas is a twelve day season of feasting until January 6. We take down the tree and move on

Likewise, I wonder why we sometimes treat Lent as if it's a prolonged Easter season, and then go on to other things, as if it's all over, the day after Easter. Actually, like Advent, the tradition of Lent is a season of longing and anticipating, of expecting and journeying. And like Christmas, in our deepest tradition Easter is a season, not a day. It's Eastertide, the season after, which lasts for 50 days until Pentecost (which means, literally, "fifty").

That's why the birthday of the church moves around the calendar with Easter, and can be anywhere between early May and mid-June.

So here we are at the beginning of April, and I proclaim to you that Easter is not "over." There are so many powerful stories and images of new life we shouldn't be so quick to let go of them. It takes time to embrace the deep and multi-faceted power of the resurrection.

I invite those of you who might live in my neck of the woods to come to worship through April and May to explore with me through my sermon series, "We Will Rise." If you live out of town or already have a church home, you can also listen using our website or podcast.

In the series, we will savor the various resurrection appearances. We will use a text I wrote to go with one of my favorite new hymn tunes, YOU ARE MINE. We will add and explore one verse each week. The refrain after each verse is:

Easter is the morning of freedom,
Dayspring of new life in Christ.
Let all voices sing, let hallelujah's ring!
The day is coming, we will rise!

There are so many signs of new life right now, if we only have eyes to see! Let the scripture lead us to see with new eyes.