The Great Fifty Days
“That you may have Life and have it abundantly!”
The promise of resurrection is the truth that most excites me about the Christian message. That old patterns, addictions, destructive decisions, habits that diminish, systems that oppress are not the last word; they are overcome by grace! It is the good news that restoration, reconciliation, renewal, and redemption are the work of an all-surpassing, unconditional Love! Broken relationships are healed and strengthened; hopes squashed by crisis and chaos find new life; New opportunities are discovered and chanced when no way was thought possible. These are the experiences of resurrection we can come to know, celebrate and live into!
Many folks responded to last month’s corner and said they appreciated some background and definition to Lent and its season. So, let’s do a bit of that for Easter. The Easter Season is also known as the Great Fifty Days. It begins at sundown on Easter eve and continues through the Day of Pentecost. It’s always good to remember that while Lent is such an important season in preparation for Easter, it’s only 40 days while Easter is the “Great Fifty days”! Easter isn’t just a day as much as it is a new way of living! If there were such a word, we should encourage one another to live in an “Easter-ish-ing-ly” way.
Easter is the most joyous and celebrative season of the Christian Year! It focuses on Christ’s resurrection and ascension, also on the giving of the Holy Spirit on the first Easter (John 20:22-23) and the day of Pentecost (Acts 2). On the Sundays in Easter we replace the Old Testament reading with one from the Acts of the Apostles because the early church, empowered by the Holy Spirit, is the best witness of the Resurrection. The ancient Christian name for this festival is Pauch, derived from the Hebrew pesah (“deliverance” or “passover”), this connects the Resurrection to the Exodus. The origin of the English word Easter is disputed but may come from the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eastra and her festival.
May this Easter Sunday and the full Easter season be a time of praise, thankfulness, empowerment, reconciliation, and the experience of New Life – for that is what it is!
Our old lives are overcome and gone! Behold, new life, new opportunities! May you and I and all, live in the Truth of God’s unconditional, unlimited, all-sufficient love; and may it blossom in your hearts and come alive in the lives of you, your families, your loved ones, and us a congregation as we live into the glory and triumph of Easter morning!
Be God’s, Pastor Jim