Easter has come and gone. The biggest party in the church has passed. We celebrated Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter itself. Since the services are done and the eggs collected and the family home, aren’t we supposed to just move on to the next holiday? Isn’t Memorial Day the next big event for us?
The answer is, simply, no. We aren’t done with Easter. We haven’t barely begun with Easter. In our western culture we tend to celebrate holidays in the time leading up to them and on the day itself. We rarely celebrate a holiday for the days following it. In the Christian calendar, we do the opposite. While Advent and Lent are both times celebrated in the church, these are really times of preparation. Advent is the story leading up to the birth of Christ. Lent is the time spend in contemplation, fasting, and preparation for the death of Christ so that we might truly celebrate the Resurrection, having gone through our Lord’s death in those 40 days to properly see the Resurrection as miraculous.
After Christmas we celebrate the 12 days of Christmas, which is more than just a catchy song. During these 12 days we celebrate the birth of Christ. We still sing those Christmas songs. We don’t start to celebrate Christ’s birth until Christmas Day. This time is called Christmastide.
After Easter, this present time of the year, we are celebrating the 50 days of Eastertide. This is the time between Easter and Pentecost. This is the time that we truly celebrate our risen Savior. He appeared to many people, sometimes in a small group, or personally, or to a large crowd. Jesus appeared to them all and then ascended to heaven. After the ascension, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. Pentecost literally means the “50th Day” after the Resurrection. The “Pente” part is similar to a 5 sided shape, like a pentegon.
As we celebrate this time, remember that when Jesus arose from the grave it was the start of the party. Our Savior is risen! Take heart that we do not worship a dead god. Many other religions believe their saviors are dead. The major figures of their faith are no more. Their gods did not come in the form of a man. We can now celebrate the mystery of our faith: Christ died; Christ is risen; Christ will come again!”