As I mentioned Monday, I have been following the Christian (or Church, or worship, or liturgical) calendar for my own personal spiritual formation this year; this is partly by choice, but mostly because I was dragged into Epiphany’s startling light and then led to Lent’s wilderness journey by the Holy Spirit. And this week I am brought to a whole new territory: Eastertide.
Growing up, my church didn’t observe the Church calendar any more strictly than the national calendar: Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving and Memorial Day were all celebrated, and Advent and Lent were often confused with Christmastide and Eastertide, respectively. So, I did not have a very explicit worship education about what the season of Eastertide looks like, feels like, sounds like, smells like, tastes like. I mentioned this to a co-worker today, and she promptly blamed our American sensibility and efficiency. We said all there is to say on Easter Sunday; time to get on with it, and back to work.
But that’s not what Eastertide is all about. In fact, “Get on with it,” and “Get back to work” are the exact opposite of what Eastertide is about:
“Because the good news of Easter can hardly be contained in a single day’s celebration, Easter is only the first of fifty days of Eastertide, the “Great Fifty Days” that lead up to Pentecost. This season is designed for extended celebration, for exploring the ramifications of Easter for the redemption of all creation, and for joyful Christian living.”
“Extended celebration;” not, “Get on with it.” “Joyful Christian living;” not “Back to work.”
There are several ways I like to celebrate good news: huge meals, time for laughter and naps, reading a good book, enjoying the company of friends and family. This Eastertide, I will probably not be blogging daily, and I probably will not even be posting “regularly,” but I’ll try. But I will be celebrating. And I find it incredibly fitting that April is also National Poetry Month. So look for some posts this month featuring poets’ crafted reflections on life, death, and life eternal. And May the Living Christ dwell in you richly, leading you in joyful celebration of the life that is ours in his glorious resurrection.