What is it about Easter?
What is it about Easter that gets the attention of so many people in this world? Is it the sense of hope that encircles the globe as we celebrate the Savior of the world being raised from the dead nearly two millennia ago? Is it the wildly abundant sharing of God’s love for all of creation that we feel during this most important of all celebrations throughout the year?
Easter Day certainly captures the attention of those who find themselves trying day-in and day-out to live a life that is pleasing to God. Having been showered with God’s love by God coming to live among us as one of us, we clearly have a strong desire to celebrate the birth of Christ—the Nativity of Jesus, which started him on his journey of love that concluded his earthly life with his death on the cross. As Christians, as followers of Jesus, we seek to live into a relationship with God through Christ that allows us to see the story of God living among us as our story, too.
All fifty days of Eastertide are there for us to continue that intentional celebration of thankfulness for all God has done for us, especially God’s giving us life—eternal life. This brings us to the specific nature of that promise of eternal life that is available to each and every one of us. While the events of Holy Week present us with unimaginable sorrow in remembering the suffering and death of Jesus, our Savior, these same events present us with an understanding of the way in which God effected the circumstances that caused the need for Jesus to overcome death and the grave. Had Jesus not died, he would not have needed to be raised from the dead.
So, we do not give thanks or celebrate Jesus’ death; yet, we recognize the necessary role it played in setting the stage for the greatest gift of all time to be offered to us by God. And, with that arrives hope. The hope that we might be able to find the way out of our own tombs. The hope in the knowledge that God loves us and is always with us. The celebration of the Resurrection is so important in our lives that the Church provides us with a forty-day period of time—the season of Lent, based on Jesus’ forty-day experience of being tested in the wilderness, to prepare for the celebration of this most important festival day.
In the same way that all important aspects of our lives require many activities on our parts to mark them with great celebration, it is important for us to be reminded that the busyness of that preparation cannot be allowed to dwarf the importance the Easter event. So, be mindful of your time. Pay attention to the activities necessary to be prepared to celebrate. However, do all in your power not to let the preparation take precedence over the celebration. Don’t let Lent sap you of your energy to give thanks to God for Easter. I pray that your preparation for Easter has also included the mustering of energy, emotion, and devotion to proclaim that, “Jesus Christ is Risen!”
What is it about Easter? Come and see.
Easter blessings to all,
The Reverend Robert A. Nagy, Rector