I awoke groggy on Easter morning. We’d been up late the night before—heralding the resurrection at an Easter vigil into the wee hours of the morning. We rolled out of bed, started the coffee injection, and headed off to celebration number two, with Scott’s banjo in tow. It was a lovely day—good people, good food, the sun shining warm on my skin. It was a day alive—wonderfully appropriate for the day we set aside to remember and rejoice in Christ’s restored life from the grave.
Lent has finally come to a close, and now we find ourselves in the Easter season. In traditions that observe the church calendar, Easter isn’t one day. It’s a seven week long season of celebration.
The church calendar can be an aid to build in the rhythms of seasons into our spiritual lives. It makes me think of that oft-quoted passage in Ecclesiastes: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Lent is the season of mourning; Easter is the season of celebration. During Lent, we focus on the suffering and death of Christ. During Easter, we focus on his victorious life and resurrection.
Many of us observed Lent in some fashion this year. We abstained from something, added a spiritual practice, did a special Bible study, or incorporated some means of meditating on Christ’s suffering. It can be helpful to dedicate a season to reflection, repentance, and self-denial. Some of us have experienced that first hand over the last several weeks.
But how often do we dwell with the same intensity on Easter? I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t. It’s Lent, Lent, Lent, Easter Sunday! Then back to normal. I’m realizing that this is unbalanced. It is healthy and necessary to focus on Christ’s sufferings. But it is unhealthy to not relish in his victory with the same level of dedication. Lent doesn’t get the last word. Death doesn’t get the last word. Resurrection does.
So, I’d like to encourage us to actively meditate on the resurrection life of Christ over the next few weeks. We’ve taken time to focus on the somber aspects of our faith. Now we can take time to focus on the joyous and celebratory.
What would this look like?
Lent is a season for fasting and self-denial. Easter is a season of feasting. If you gave up something for Lent, consider adding something positive to your life. In the classic example, if you gave up chocolate for Lent, you could eat a piece of chocolate each day to remind yourself of the goodness of our life in Christ. Be creative in finding a practice or symbol that will remind you of the joy of your life in Christ now and of the hope of the life to come with Him in glory. Delight in His life and His victory, friends. He is risen.