I really have a desire to live the next 50 days – the season of Easter – in a sense of wonder and amazement at the Resurrection. I want to enter into its depth and meaning and how it changed the entire trajectory of the planet (and the universe!). I want to faithfully live in the JOY of Easter and living out the joy of Easter as well!
I know I will need lots of reminders…I wasn’t even very good about celebrating the 12 days of Christmas…50 days is a long time! One of my favorite authors, NT Wright, talks about serving up champagne after morning prayers during the Easter season. However, I seemed to be quite out of champagne this morning…so I ate some yummy cake!! A little celebration within a celebratory season!
Here is a favorite excerpt from Surprised By Hope:
The world has already been turned upside down; that’s what Easter is all about. It isn’t a matter of waiting until God eventually does something at the end of time. God has brought his future, his putting-his-world into rights future, into the presence of Jesus of Nazareth and he wants that future to be implicated more and more in the present. That’s what we pray for every time we say the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth at it is in heaven.”
… if Lent is a time to give things up, then Easter ought to be a time to take things up.
Easter is a time to sow new seeds and to plant out a few cuttings. If Calvary means to put things to death in your life that need killing off if you are to flourish as a Christian and as a truly human being, then Easter should mean planting, watering and training things up in your life (personal and corporate) that ought to be blossoming, filling the garden with color and perfume and in due course bearing fruit.
All right, the Sundays after Easter still lie within the Easter season. We still have Easter readings and hymns during them. But Easter week itself ought not to be the time when all clergy sigh with relief and go on holiday. It ought to be an eight-day festival, with champagne served after morning prayer or even before, with lots of alleluias and extra hymns and spectacular anthems. It is any wonder people find hard to believe in the resurrection of Jesus if we don’t throw our hats in the air? Is it any wonder we find it hard to live the resurrection if we don’t do it exuberantly in our liturgies? It is any wonder the world doesn’t take much notice if Easter is celebrated as simple the one-day happy ending tacked on to forty days of fasting and gloom? It’s long over due that we took a hard look at how we keep Easter in church, at home, in our personal lives, right through the system. And if it means rethinking some cherished habits, well, maybe it’s time to wake up.
My prayer is that I learn to LIVE Easter! I want to plant and water, to throw my hat up in the air, to do cartwheels on my lawn with my kids, and to find ways to bring this resurrection life into my neighborhood!!