Is Easter over?
Theologically, we know that the earthquake of Easter will reverberate until the Second Coming of Messiah. And liturgically, Easter is in no way over. In fact, Easter has just begun. The joy of Easter carries on until June 3rd, which means we still have 49 days of Eastertide. Easter is far from over and there is much more rejoicing to do in the next seven weeks.
The difficulty for many of us is keeping this Easter enthusiasm for such a lengthy period. The reason many evangelicals are ready to get to the next thing is because they lack a sense of liturgical rhythm. Lent took us through a 40-day journey, but the Easter joy takes us through a 50-day journey. Easter is superior to Lent not only in length of days but also in the quality of its mood. Lent prepares us to a journey towards Calvary, while Easter takes us through a victory march. Through Easter, we are reminded to put away our sadness and embrace the heavenly trumpet sound to all the corners of the earth. “He is risen!, He is risen!, He is risen!” The devil trembles, the enemies fear, the forces of evil shake, the sound of sin is silenced when death was defeated.
What does this mean? It means we must be busy in the business of celebrating. For dads and moms, young and old, we have much to do to preserve and pervade this season with jubilance. I want to offer ten ways we can do that in the remaining 49 days of Easter. a
10 Ways to Keep Easter this Easter Season!
First, we can invest time in our dinner table by reading the Resurrection narratives before each meal (Matthew 28; Mark 16; Luke 24; John 20-21.) These narratives will remind us and our children of the details of that monumental occasion in history. After reading these passages for a couple of weeks, you may wish to read the I Corinthians 15 text focusing on the centrality of the resurrection in the Gospel proclamation.
Second, begin each morning with the Easter greeting: “Christ is risen!” Response: “He is risen indeed!” Keep the rhythm of Easter fresh and vibrant in the home by opening the day with the liturgical responses of a resurrection people.
Third, keep fresh flowers in the home. Fresh flowers remind us of the re-birth of Jesus as he was birthed glorified from the tomb.
Fourth, add Easter hymns to the daily repertoire of family songs. Here is an easy to sing Easter hymn to the familiar tune of Ode to Joy.
Fifth, invite friends over each Sunday for a meal and pop open a champagne bottle for the next seven Sundays.
Sixth, use daily prayers to thank God for raising His Son from the dead. Here is a simple prayer that can be used by the family each day:
Grant, we beseech Thee, O Almighty God,
that we who have observed the paschal mystery,
may by Thy favor manifest its power by lives of
virtue. Through Christ our Lord.
Seventh, practice joy. Do not allow in any season, but especially during the Easter Season, to be characterized by gloominess. Teach your children and one another that Christians cannot be characterized by sadness, but by the abundant life freely given through the death and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah.
Eighth, practice mercy. Seek opportunities to give and serve in this season. Consider carefully if there are families in your church who could benefit from a meal or a gift card or babysitting. Practice mercy by seeking opportunities to show mercy.
Ninth, think of creative ways to mock evil. Death has been defeated and Satan has been made into a joke. The legend goes that once Luther was confronted by the devil and his response was: “Go away, for I am baptized!” Easter is a season to remember that our baptisms into newness of life is Satan’s baptism into misery and defeat. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! And Satan’s head has been crushed! Therefore, remind your children and one another that we are baptized and Satan does not have power over you. We are under the Lordship of a risen King!
Finally, remember that without the resurrection we are of all people most to be pitied. Jesus’ resurrection is our justification (Rom. 4:25). We are not our own, we are Christ’s. Our life is risen with him, which means we are resurrected saints. The world knows our Lord is risen when they see the resurrection displayed in all that we do and say. We are delivered from death because Christ has conquered death.
Let us keep the feast! Let us sing for joy! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!1