How long is the party?
At least 50 days.
He touched me with his right hand and said, â€œDo not be afraid. I am the first and the last, the one who lives. Once I was dead, but now I am alive forever and ever.â€
I have been seeing robins all around, heard a cardinal the other morning calling out for a mate. As I changed the parish sign yesterday to note that we are celebrating the 50 days of Easter I noticed the leaves of tulips peaking through the soil.
Last Sunday we celebrated the Solemnity of the Resurrection and the renewal of life is all around us. A true blessing!
The Solemnity of the Resurrection can occur anytime between March 22nd and April 25th. Regardless of where it falls, whether it is more spring like or wintery outside, it always brings us a greater awareness of the newness of life we have in Christ. It would be truly sad if it was just a one-day reminder, but it is not!
Easter is the hope that comes after the 40-day long journey through Lent and our walk with Jesus through His suffering, death, and burial.
Easter is the message of the hope that reigns forever for every Christian who believes in Jesus, who sees in Him the hope of eternal life and the resurrection.
Easter is the 50 â€œ24-hour periodsâ€ of hope that lead up to the presence of Godâ€™s Spirit in our world realized on Pentecost. This is the promise Jesus gave us. The promise that we are not alone, abandoned, without His support and His life flowing through us constantly. He remains alive in us as His followers and in the world, calling all to know, love, and serve Him and each other.
Easter is the unfading reality that amid the threats of nuclear attack, war, violence, poverty, hunger, greed, sickness, death, and every sort of evil we cannot be touched. We may suffer temporarily, but we will never lose. Our life is in Him who lives forever, and in His kingdom that is eternal.
Easter is each and every Sunday. Even in the midst of Lent, Sunday is a day of joy, a break in fasting, a celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus. We worship God on the first day of the week – rather than the Sabbath – to remember Christâ€™s resurrection from the dead and celebrate Godâ€™s loving action to save the world.
Then celebrate, party every day. Hold on especially to the 50 days of Easter. Hold on to Easter hope that God is in our world, in our community, and in our life. Christ is alive. He is risen indeed â€“ everyday!