My stash of hard-boiled eggs is running low and the jelly beans are starting to taste a little stale. But despite my lack of treats and decorations, it’s still Easter at my house. Because Easter isn’t a day. It’s a season. And it should be a way of life.
The Easter calendar
It’s no accident that many of us think about Easter as a single day. For starters, Easter is the central Christian holiday, a term derived the from Old English words for “holy” + “day”. So, it’s easy to see why we often use the terms Easter and Easter Sunday interchangeably,
But Easter was never meant to be limited to a 24-hour period. Easter Sunday is actually the starting line for the Easter season — the 50 days from Easter to Pentecost.
Now here’s the real kicker: The Easter season is universally considered to be the most important season in the life of the Church.
Not Advent. Not Lent. But the two and a half months between Easter Sunday and Pentecost.
Becoming Easter people
It’s ironic (and a little sad) that the most important season in the Christian calendar is also the least celebrated. In the coming weeks, we’ll encounter reminders in our worship spaces. Flowers. Banners. Maybe even a small mention in the bulletin.
But the Easter season isn’t something we actively celebrate. Before the last chocolate bunny disappears from the pantry, we put Easter in our rear view mirrors and move on to other things.
And gradually, we also move on from everything Easter represents:
- The hope of change
- The power of redemption
- The promise of new life
Easter disrupts our tired routines and challenges the bankrupt pursuits we hide behind. It reminds us that Jesus isn’t an abstract concept or philosophy. He’s a living presence, an active player in the story of our lives.
By living Easter beyond Easter Sunday and even beyond Easter season, we affirm that we have been irreversibly changed by the event of the resurrection.
Lent is not Easter. They’re as different as night and day. So, that means life before Easter is completely unlike life after Easter. And I think that’s something worth celebrating.
You and I are called to be Easter people. Not for a day. Not even for a season. We’re called to be an Easter people for life.