Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

No matter when in April you read this newsletter, this greeting is still relevant. If you are like me then you probably grew up understanding Easter as one day—specifically the Sunday at the end of Holy Week. As a kid, I thought of Easter as being a bit like Halloween. You got lots of candy, and dressed up in clothes you never wore any other time of the year. (ok, maybe that last part is more relevant for women—I doubt many boys wore special white gloves and hats for Easter). And even though Easter was when we celebrated the resurrection of Christ, it didn’t seem to be nearly as big of a deal as Christmas. Easter was easily contained within a single day: church, Easter baskets, ham dinner with family, and an Easter egg hunt. Christmas seemed much more important with all of the parties and gifts and seeing family and friends for days or weeks.

But Easter is more than a single day. In fact, Easter is actually a season of the church year that is begun with the Resurrection and lasts seven weeks until the day of Pentecost. Fifty days to celebrate this formative event of our faith. You see, while the birth of Jesus is important, it is the Resurrection of Christ that truly transforms the narrative. Death has lost its power, and with it all that is death-dealing and fear-inducing in the world. The love that ended death’s reign is what empowers us to stand up against all of the death-dealing forces in our own lives. The power that raised Jesus from the dead, is a power that is available and active in our own lives.

So perhaps for once, all the consumerism has done something right in focusing its Easter emphasis on eternal signs of spring, of rebirth and new life. When I walked down the aisles of Easter supplies I see an abundance of signs of new life and rebirth: baby animals, flowers, butterflies. A welcome sight after all the dreariness and deadness of winter!

Too often we tend to focus on the negative, on the suffering. It is right to take the season of Lent seriously with its focus on repentance, mortality, and self-denial. But our faith is not just about the death—its foundation is the power of new life. If we celebrated the birth of Jesus with gifts and parties and fine food how much more then should we celebrate the resurrection of Christ! As Christians, we are called to celebrate the season of Easter with at least as much (if not more) energy than we observed the season of Lent and with as much (if not more) joy and excitement as we celebrated Christmas.

But how? How can we observe Easter for not one day, but fifty days? This will be the theme of the services from now through Pentecost as we celebrate the joy of life, and ponder the audacious promise of new life in Christ. This is a time of living, of celebration, of delight, of appreciation for all that life is and all that God does and gives.

Be on the lookout (Facebook, Pulse, and bulletin announcements) for ways to continue this celebration throughout the Easter season and to rejoice in the resurrection.

Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed!


Pastor Tara