By: Pastor Leslie Welton, Associate Pastor & Director of Discipleship & Outreach
As I write these words, the shelves of department stores are slowly being emptied of plastic eggs and baskets. Stuffed bunnies and other cute critters are awaiting little hugs in closet hiding spots, and jellybeans are being consumed by the handful. It’s the Easter season!
While I confess to eating a rather ghastly number of Cadbury crème eggs, I do temper my Easter exclamations until after Holy Week. Unfortunately for Christians, as soon as the Easter sun rises, the world thinks the season is done and moves on to summer barbeques and Memorial Day vacation plans. We have a treasure in the season of Easter, a full six Sundays to proclaim “Christ is risen!” and celebrate the resurrection of the Savior. (You might want to stash a few crème eggs in the cupboard!) Easter, for the church, is not a one-day culmination of a commercially driven season. Quite the opposite, in fact.
Between Easter Sunday and Pentecost, the season of Easter centers us in a pattern of celebration that will continue until Advent. The resurrection of Jesus was an event so earth shattering that it moved the day of gathering from Saturday to Sunday in commemoration of that first morning at the empty tomb. Every Sunday for Christians is a “little Easter,” reminding us that Jesus was raised from the dead and is the reason we gather as the church in this time and place.
The Easter season, that time between Easter and Pentecost, lets us focus in on the witness of the early church, drawing encouragement from the first witnesses to the power of the Holy Spirit in the lives of Christ’s disciples, and calling us to proclaim Christ resurrected in word and deed. “Alleluia” returns to our worship, and we are reminded that our praise is not for our own edification but to glorify the God who sent Jesus into the world.
The commercial season is fun for preparation, but the real season is an opportunity to share with the world the hope that we carry. Have an Easter egg hunt for six Sundays and make the surprises inside get better and better. Refrain from the jellybeans and then let their sweetness remind you about the sweetness of Christ’s presence for six weeks. Keep the decorations up until Pentecost and let red replace the pastels of the “season.” Find a way to bear witness to what you have seen and heard in the passion narratives and let those around you hear your excitement. The possibilities are endless when you have more than one day to celebrate!