Saturday, April 26, 2014

Seven Sundays after Easter and More

The Easter candy is on sale and most of the Easter lilies have been removed from altar displays, but Easter continues. During this liturgical season there are seven Sundays after Easter before Pentecost. For Christians every Sunday is a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

We live in a death-denying, death-defying culture. I’m not talking simply about the ways we try to look young to avoid the inevitability of the end of life. But rather the way we as a culture, as a nation, and globally, delay dealing with issues such climate change,  misuse of the environment, and global hunger and are prone to turn to war before diplomacy.  We like to believe that what we do to the planet will not cause permanent damage and that the deaths of thousands of people won’t matter.  Likewise we race though our lives in the fast lane, defying the possibility that we might cause our neighbor’s or our own death.  People drive while texting, take wild chances, as if to dare death to touch us.

We seem fascinated with the spectacle, danger and excitement of it all. Each morning I turn on the television to see what has happened in the world overnight to guide my decision-making. We are called to be responsible participants, not mere spectators. But seconds after the “Breaking news” announcement (which may or may not be) is a 20-minute series of vehicle crashes, murder trials, and dare-devil plunges selected for their dramatic visuals.  All circle around death or near-death experiences.

Death is real enough without our denying or defying it. So the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is something to celebrate.  Something to shout Hallelujah about.  Something to tell the world about.  Something to shape one’s life around.  How should we live so that the life of everyone and the world itself matters?  Scripture makes it clear that Jesus’ death and resurrection bring new life and sure hope for life now and life eternal.
Easter Sunday, 2014, may be old news. Pews may be more empty this weekend. But why in the world would we pass up another opportunity to come together to be empowered for seeking life and saving lives?  Keep in Mind that Jesus Christ has died for us and is risen from the dead. He is our saving Lord; he is joy for all ages.

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