The season that follows Easter in the church year is called “Eastertide”. In our house we’ve been talking about this week in terms of it being Easter Monday, Easter Tuesday, Easter Wednesday . . . So, while the culture and world around us packs up the Easter season and moves on – to the latest news cycle, presidential primary, MLB season, or whatever – and while churches and pastors slow in their reporting (er- bragging?) about Easter Sunday attendance and hope they might see at least two-thirds of those folks again this Sunday . . . I’d like to linger a bit with Easter’s news and implications.
Every day after Easter is a day of hope and victory for those who follow Christ. This does not mean there will not be struggle, or even suffering, in our lives. It’s an “already but not yet” reality that we dwell in. (By faith in the risen Christ we are “already” victorious in Easter’s implications, but will “not yet” fully realize that victory this side of heaven.) But shouldn’t there be some lasting implications from Easter that follow us past Easter into the everyday? I think so. Here, in part, is what I think it means to live an Easter life:
- Sundays (the first day of the week – literally a little Easter every week) are granted a heightened importance and participation in our Easter living. Sunday (or perhaps another day if we must work on Sunday) is a day of worship, rest, renewal, play and gathered celebration as Christ followers. We should be careful not to become rigid about our Sunday keeping, but judicious in how we spend these little Easters. How are you investing in your Sundays?
- There is a gospel mandate (commandment) for Easter people to keep Jesus’ great commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind . . . and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Mt 22:36-40) There is also a call to be those who live out the great commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:19-20) Witness in word and action is fundamental to both of these Jesus introduced priorities. How are you living into Jesus’ commandment and commission?
- Easter should reaffirm the reorienting of our lives toward participation in the mission of God (missio dei). We are quick to assert our belief in Christ and quote John 3:16 and it’s promise of salvation, but discipleship is about more than mere belief – it’s a way of life: learning to be with Jesus, to become like Jesus, to join Jesus in His mission. How does your living reflect your discipleship?
This is not an exhaustive list, just some food for thought, as another Easter begins to fade into the rear view mirror. Let’s not be too quick to move past Easter, the main tenet of the Christ following faith. In fact, let’s not move past it at all, but keep living the Easter life this week, next month, come September, and forever after.
What’s important for you when it comes to living an Easter life?