These are words that we typically hear on Easter Sunday, and then they disappear from our vocabulary until the next Easter, but that isn’t the way the church has traditionally understood this theological statement of great joy! We need to realize that Easter isn’t just a Sunday — it’s a season. One day out of 365 is hardly sufficient to celebrate the great mystery of our faith — that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Accordingly, the season of Easter lasts seven weeks (a “week of weeks”), spanning the 50 days from the Sunday of the Resurrection to Pentecost Sunday and encompassing the festival of the Ascension of the Lord.

The season of Easter is intended to be a joyful time for celebrating the presence of the risen Christ in the church. There are some congregations that celebrate the Lord’s Supper (a feast with the risen Lord) each week, the season of Easter is an excellent time to consider our ongoing walk with the risen Christ and how we might continue to share the joy of Easter in our daily life.

Of course, Easter really isn’t just a season either. In the fullest sense, Easter is a new way of life — in which we are “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11), called to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). Every year, for fifty days, the church celebrates and rehearses this new way of life in the Season of Easter — as we await its completion in the fullness of Christ’s reign.

I hope that you will use the next 50 days to walk in a new way of life despite the fact that we are social distancing and quarantined for the foreseeable future. I hope that you will celebrate this new way of life as we are physically separated. I hope that you will work towards the fullness of Christ’s reign by sharing God’s love with others as you are able in this strange time of Covid 19.

Please know that I am praying for you and your family. I am hopeful that we will be able to worship, study and serve together in the near future. Finally, here is a prayer for the Eastertide: God of grace and peace, in Jesus Christ you stand among us as a sign of healing, hope, and joy in our fearful, wounded world. Fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we may have faith and life through Christ, our risen Savior. Amen.

In Christ,