Isn’t Easter Just a Celebration of Spring?
It is a common misperception that Easter is a celebration of Springtime. People often comment, when Easter is early of the calendar, “It’s a shame we can’t celebrate Easter when the flowers are in bloom.” Or, a businessperson will say, “I am sorry I missed Easter this year, I was away traveling for business that weekend.” People often believe Easter is a “once-sleeping-now-awake” holiday, i.e., the flower bulbs looked dead, but they were only sleeping, waiting to regrow. This is not the meaning of Easter.
Easter, in the Christian tradition, is the celebration of a season, known as “the 50-Great Days of Easter”, this year, April 4th to May 23rd. It includes 2-special Holy Days, Ascension Day (always on a Thursday, 40-days after Passover) and Pentecost (the final day of Easter, the 50th day from Passover). You may wonder, “why isn’t this well-known?”
Our culture is not Christian – – (though some like to claim it is!). The secular world is interested in Christmas and Easter because you can make money selling gifts and candies. There is no financial gain to be made either on Ascension Day or Pentecost. In fact, they are days which celebrate Jesus leaving the ma-terial world behind. (not exactly a marketers or salespersons dream!) The 50-Great Days of Easter celebrate how we receive the revelations of God and how we incorporate the power of God into our lives.
The Season of Easter is a counterpoint to our culture, which promotes consumption, status, and secu-rity. The Season of Easter supports self-sacrifice, gratitude, being worry-free, and emptying oneself for others, often anonymously. The Season ends with Pentecost, (50 days from Passover), when we are to offer God our “first-fruits”, our very best gifts in response to how God has surprised us with abundance. It is an appreciation for how life is a glorious blessing!
Do you want to celebrate Easter? Great! Just offer God 50-days of gratitude and praise and you will discover your spirit is resurrected and your disposition revived. Isn’t this a message our culture needs to hear?
Rev. John Hughes
Rev. John Hughes
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May Worship Schedule/Lectionary
Theme: “where God is found”
Sunday, May 2nd – Communion
Scriptures: Psalm 22:25-31, Acts 8:26-40, John 15:1-8
Communion Reflection: “Can You explain?”
Sunday, May 9th
Scriptures: Psalm 98, Acts 10:44-48 John 15:9-7
Sermon: “Our God Remembers”
Sunday, May 16th
Scriptures: Psalm 47, Acts 1:1-11, Luke 24:44-53
Sermon: “How God Comes to Us”
Sunday, May 23rd ~ Pentecost Sunday
Scriptures: Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Acts 2:1-21, John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15
Sermon: “The Power is On”
Sunday, May 30th ~ Trinity Sunday
Scriptures: Psalm 29, Isaiah 6:1-8, John 3:1-17
Sermon: “Erupting with God’s Presence”