So this morning as I walked downstairs with my soon to be six-year-old he asked me, “Is it still Easter?” Not thinking about the gravity of this question, I almost casually answered no, but then I thought the better and gave the response, “Yes. It might not be Easter Sunday, but it is still Easter.” I think this is so easy to overlook in our westernized mindset towards our calendar. Our calendar is easily organized into dates and those dates are sometimes set aside as holidays. We look forward to the holidays (like Easter, Christmas, etc.), we celebrate them, and then we are done with them. But this has not always been the case with the calendar that we cling to in the church. I believe I commented earlier in m post for lent regarding the Christian calendar, but it starts to take on even more bearing now.
Rather than focus on certain dates, the Christian calendar instead focuses on seasons. There is the Advent Season, the season of Epiphany, the Lenten Season, the Easter season, and the season of Pentecost. I believe the early church may have been onto something here. Instead of anticipating the day of Easter and being done with it the Monday after, they anticipated the season of Easter where they lived in the joy of the resurrection until the time came to celebrate the season of the Holy Spirit or Pentecost. Doesn’t that seem to make so much more sense. So it was easy to answer my son when I thought about the question in those regards.
I think the only other real issue is that we don’t always sense the transformation in our lives that these seasons bring. Living in Michigan, I have become very attuned to seasonal changes. During the long, cold winter I find myself begging for spring to arrive…longing for warm weather and the absence of snow. I crave it so much that when it arrives I all but go crazy. All of a sudden I have to be outside, I have to run barefoot, I have to go swimming, I have to fly a kite, kick a ball, BBQ, fill in the blank with your favorite warm weather activity: I have to do it! But this is how crazy the transformation is from one season to the next.
And why shouldn’t it be so with our Christian calendar as well. I am so keyed up for Easter that I have to live out the resurrection! I have to be excited, I have to be spontaneous, my routine has to overflow with new life because that is what I am celebrating! Think about it. If we started celebrating the Christian calendar in seasons and started getting our lives in tune with the excitement that surrounds this calendar how passionate would we seem for life. How contagious would our spirits be? This is what it means to celebrate Easter! By conforming to the seasons of the life of Christ, we take on new life! Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will – Romans 12:2
May we find new life in the seasons of our Lord!