In the daily “Still Speaking” UCC devotional that posted the day after Easter, Pastor Emily Heath reminded us of something vitally important. “If you go in any kind of store (the day after Easter), you will see that Easter is over. The plastic eggs will be half-price, and the Easter candy will be on clearance, never to be seen again until next February. There's just one problem with that: no matter what the stores are saying, Easter isn't over. While Easter may have been the day of the empty tomb, the 50 days after are just as much a time of new beginnings. We have until Pentecost, May 24, to celebrate Easter. And beyond that, we celebrate the new life that Easter brings.”
As Christians we celebrate the re-creation and renewal of all things at Easter, it's about the transformation of the entire universe, not only the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, or the opening of heaven's doors to us. When we say “I believe in the Resurrection” we mean a bodily resurrection where heaven comes to earth and earth is transformed. And everything we do now to participate in God’s transformation and renewal of the world will be blessed and magnified at the time of the Resurrection. What we celebrated on Easter morning is the foundation for a renewed way of life in and for the world both today and in the future.
What can we do? Here are some ideas for wrapping up this season of resurrection and renewal. Offer forgiveness to someone with whom you have a long-standing grudge. Let yourself feel forgiveness for an action that you now regret, and for which you feel remorse. Tread a little more lightly on the earth, use less, and be more mindful of the impact of your consumption patterns. Share a joyful moment with a friend, show appreciation for your spouse, let a co-worker know how much you value their contribution. Offer a prayer for peace, get involved in political action for change, or just pick up some trash along the roadside. Tell one of our young people that you’ve noticed their involvement in church and that you are proud of them. Or send a note to someone whose presence in church you’ve been missing. If you have been among the missing, realize that you are missed.
You will be doing your part in God’s transformation and renewal of the world. And you don’t need to stop at Pentecost…God plans to keep this project going as long as necessary!
With the Greatest of Hope!