Today we are re-posting a blog post which was originally posted a few days after Easter in 2016. As we approach the sorrow of Good Friday tomorrow and the joy of Easter Sunday a few days after, may we always remember that we are Easter people living in a Good Friday world!
“Is today still Easter?”
These same four words have been the first thing out of my 3 year old son’s mouth every morning since Easter Sunday. It’s understandable. Family time and chocolate are the boy’s love languages and he got to enjoy plenty of both this past weekend in all of our celebrating. Throw in the llama at the petting zoo at Saturday’s Neighborhood Egg Hunt and it sealed the deal. He does not want Easter to end….ever….
The official season of Easter will, of course, come to an end in just under 50 days but I’ve made a decision. If at that point my son is still asking, “Is today still Easter?” I’m going to keep answering him with an emphatic “yes!”.
For followers of Jesus, Easter is not just a finite liturgical season in which we celebrate the eternal life won for us by Jesus. It’s also a posture from which we approach each and every day of our life here on earth. As St. Augustine wrote, “We are Easter people and ‘Alleluia’ is our song.”
It often feels that the darkness, grief and despair of Good Friday dominate the world around us. Violence, sickness, fear, hatred & evil seem to surround us from every side. Easter, however, is the reminder that no matter what we see and experience, God’s ultimate power over sin, darkness and death is assured. Because Jesus conquered death, we will too. That’s a reminder I need not just today but every day.
I think my favorite moment of last weekend came not with all the joyous celebration of Sunday morning but in the quiet darkness of Good Friday evening.
It was late. I was physically tired and emotionally exhausted following Good Friday worship and the fresh reminder of Jesus’ suffering and death for and because of me. I was in the sanctuary making final preparations for Saturday morning’s Neighborhood Egg Hunt. The altar guild had been busy while I worked but I hadn’t noticed much about what they were doing.
As I finished up, I turned off the sanctuary lights and turned to leave. As I did, I caught a glimpse of the chancel through the faint remaining light. The altar was now free of the black pall that had covered it earlier. The bright, celebratory Easter banners set behind it, and the Easter lily stands were set and ready to be filled the next day. Even in the darkness of Good Friday, the promise of Sunday could not be overshadowed.
The image made me think of John 1:4-5,
“In (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Followers of Jesus don’t leave Easter behind when the date on the calendar changes. We take the light of the resurrection and its promises everywhere we go. The message of Easter and Jesus’ triumph over the grave gives us comfort for the darkness we face today and gives us the opportunity to shine his light into the darkness and pain we see around us. Most importantly, though, it gives us hope that we too will one day triumph over death.
We are Easter people. So yes, today is still Easter. And Praise Jesus that tomorrow will be as well.