Reflections on Easter Season

25 Apr

Not everyone believes or practices the “season” of Easter.  I do both.  Most in America do practice some form of a Christmas season, even if they are not Christians.  In the USA, Christmas unfortunately has become more of a retail secular holiday than a Holy-Day.  Some in America who are not Christians, do however, also celebrate Easter Day.  But they do it as simply a spring holiday to celebrate the ending of winter.  (Sounds rather anciently pagen – does it now?)  

What I like is when one celebrates Easter as a season.   It starts on Easter Day and continues past Ascension Day right up to Pentecost celebration when we in the current church remember how the Holy Spirit came down in flames (as recorded in Acts) and annointed Jesus Christ’s followers’.  Instant results:  The birth of the first Christian church and several thousand new believers on that same day!

Now, I must back up a bit in order to distinguish the difference so that one may truly appreciate the transition that happens from Good Friday to Easter.  For some, the Lenten season (40 days preceeding Easter) is a time for reflection, and can represent the 400+ years of silence between the last profit in the Old Testament and the birth of Jesus.  It can also be a somber time, a time of giving of alms for the poor, of “giving up” something special to us as an act of contrition or as an act of discipleship to Christ representing what he gave up for us when he became incarnate (Christmas), took on human flesh, and then lived as a human, among humans, and by dying on the cross, became the propitiation for our sins, making a way of reconciliation to God available to us by paying our sin penalty.  How or if you consciously follow Lent, depends upon the denomination or flavor Christian you are and how you practice your beliefs.    Lent itself is not a word found in the Bible.  But I find it a useful tradition.

Easter and the Passion of Christ, sounds like a lot – and it is.   But it can be summed up in three words.  Love, Justice and Peace.  God is perfectly ALL 3.  So is Jesus Christ.  So as I make my way thru the Easter season of celebration,  Alleluia’s pour from my heart for God’s gift to me.  His offer of reconciliation.  His reaching out to span the chasm which I could never bridge.  As I look forward to the memorial of the institution of the first Christian church as we celebrate Pentecost and the Holy Spirit coming to live within all believers.  

To breathe new life in us.   Ours now, immediately when we are born by the Spirit, not of flesh and blood.  Ours immediately as the Spirit daily continues to point to Christ, to reveal Him more fully, to guide us, to continually sanctify us and prepare us for worshiping God in heaven.  Wow.  The challenging part is just letting it happen.  INTENTIONALLY.  Not passively, thinking it will happen with no effort on our part, Spritiual grown only happens when we cooperate with what God is trying to do in our lives.   My point is this – making the effort to stay in intimate contact with our Savior daily thru prayer, reading Holy scriptures, and reflection is critical – but it’s not 100%.  Without God, without faith, it is impossible to please God.  

The Bible is not a book to be read as a novel, or simply a great story.  Though it is most definititely the latter.  It is a book sharing God’s Words, work, and will to us.  It lives, It breathes life into us as we absorb it.  It’s Christian nutrition.  I’ve heard it said, “a week without the word makes one weak”.  A week or even 3 days without prayer also separates us from the intimacy of our relationship with God.  It’s like not talking to your most cherished and loved person in this world for 3 days.  Something in the relationship suffers.  

So I encourage each one to continue to celebrate, continue to look forward, and continue to nurish your relationship with God.  Continue to know God is with us.  No matter what.

Martha L Shaw - Poet, Writer, Artist

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