In my initial Easter post An Invitation to join me in getting ready for lent and Easter I mentioned that I was inspired by NT Wright’s observation that:
If Calvary means putting to death things in your life that need killing off if you are to flourish as a Christian and as a truly human being, then Easter should mean planting, watering and training up things in your life that ought to be blossoming…”
So often our Easter celebrations are little more than a day of observing the resurrection of Christ. Yet the Easter season, that joyous season for celebrating all that is blossoming and flourishing in our lives is meant to last for 50 days culminating in the celebration of the festival of Pentecost. This is meant to be a season of joy as we celebrate both the resurrection of Christ and the many ways in which the resurrected Christ makes life flourish both in our personal lives and in the world around us.
I love the way that Thomas Merton describes the Easter season in his book Seasons of Celebration.
“But now the power of Easter has burst upon us with the resurrection of Christ. Now we find ourselves a strength which is not our own, and which is freely given to us whenever we need it, raising us above the Law, giving us a new law which is hidden in Christ: the law of his merciful love for us. Now we no longer strive to be good because it is a duty, but because our joy is to please him who has given all his love to us! Now our life is full of meaning!”
This is a season for living into the love of God and into the life of the new world that God’s love opened for us through the resurrection of Christ and I would like to invite you to join me in this joyous celebration.
What will God’s resurrection created world look like? Obviously that is a question none of us can really answer but as I read the gospel stories of Jesus I have a fairly good idea. Jesus doesn’t just reveal God to us, he also shows us what God’s new world is like. Through his words and actions we catch glimpses of a transformed world in which all barriers of race and class are removed. It transforms hate into love, scarcity into abundance, greed into generosity, violence into peace and oppression into justice and equality. In God’s new world all lines of separation are erased, the hungry are fed, the oppressed set free and we are invited into a new creation of wholeness and healing, of redemption and renewal.
This year in order to really enter into the celebration of the Easter season I have developed an Easter celebration guide to encourage us to enter into this wonderful season. Over the seven weeks from Easter to Pentecost we will celebrate the many ways in which God’s new world can blossom in our lives – through the outpouring of love and generosity, through compassion, healing and wholeness, hospitality, justice and creation care culminating in that great multicultural celebration at the banquet feast of God.
So will you join me for the celebration and truly live into God’s resurrection created world this year?