“Easter Monday?” You may say. Might you have gotten your days wrong? Easter is on Sunday.
It is true that Easter is on a Sunday. Technically, every Sunday is a feast day of the resurrection of Jesus.
But one reason that I appreciate the church year—as it has been handed down in history—is that it gives us more time.
More Time to Reflect
Yes, the world moves on from widely observed holiday celebrations. Primarily because the sales opportunities are over.
Nowhere is this more clearly seen than with Christmas, which is a 12-day observation in the church calendar, yet is over at the stroke of midnight on December 25 in our common experience. The church year as a time-rooted teaching tool leads us to observe the Easter season (or Eastertide) until Pentecost.
For me, this is helpful because it affords time.
Time to reflect on the reality of Christ’s resurrection and the centrality of our hope in Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection—the good news, the gospel. And I also find it helpful, because the season ends with Pentecost 50 days later.
On Pentecost, we remember the giving of the Holy Spirit and the manner in which the disciples were sent out.
Rooted in Rest, Growing in Vision
Over the past several days, I have been with more than 40 Serge missionary team leaders in East Africa. Our time together began by looking at Sabbath—a call to rest in the finished work of Jesus.
As you may imagine, Sabbath does not come easy for fielded missionaries with seemingly never-ending demands on their time and emotions as they serve around the world.
But we are made to be rooted in rest.
The training days ended with training on developing team vision. Team leaders stepped back to remember and refine the work they are their teammates are called to. This is all meant to undergird the daily call to “go.”
Similarly, Eastertide invites us to truly revel for 50 days in the good news that He is risen—risen indeed.
And it concludes with a call to “go.”
I encourage you to revel in Easter this Monday. And consider what it means to “go” as we look toward the remembrance of the great of Pentecost:
“Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd: “Fellow Jews and all of you who live in Jerusalem, let me explain this to you; listen carefully to what I say. These people are not drunk, as you suppose. It’s only nine in the morning! No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel:
In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
19 I will show wonders in the heavens above
and signs on the earth below,
blood and fire and billows of smoke.
20 The sun will be turned to darkness
and the moon to blood
before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord.
21 And everyone who calls
on the name of the Lord will be saved.”
Fellow Israelites, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know. This man was handed over to you by God’s deliberate plan and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:14-21).