We’ve Just Celebrated Easter! Now What?
It’s sometimes difficult when your favorite day comes and goes. You go on an awesome vacation, but then it’s over, and it will be a long time until another one comes. Your favorite holiday or your birthday passes by, and you have to wait a whole year for it to come again.
Well my favorite time of the year has just now passed. Yes, it’s a busier time of year for me, but it is a time of year that I greatly love. I love the solemnities of Lent, the time of penitence, and the great Lenten hymns. And then there’s Palm Sunday, where we celebrate the entrance of the Lamb of God into the city where He would be accused, judged, suffer, and die. And then there is Maundy Thursday where we commemorate the night in which He instituted the Sacrament of the Altar for our forgiveness. And then on Good Friday, we celebrate His sacrificial death for our salvation, and then on Easter we rejoice in our Savior’s resurrection and life, which means for us that salvation has truly been accomplished and that we shall rise with Him on the Last Day. It’s the high point of the Church Year, and the high point each year in our lives as we live in life of the Church. But now Good Friday and Easter have come and gone.
(I’m not too bummed, because the Easter season lasts a few weeks, and the Church Year has festivals and themes that I really love all over, such as Pentecost, Michaelmas, Reformation Day, All Saint’s Day, End Times, Christmas, etc.)
When a favorite day or vacation comes to an end, one way to get over it is just to get busy with life to get your mind off of it and to help time pass. However, this is not necessary for Easter. We do not have to get over Easter being over, nor should we take our mind off of it. The joy of it never has to end or diminish. There are three reasons that I can think of for that. One is that every Sunday is a mini-Easter, for we do not come to receive forgiveness and life from a dead Savior, but from a living Savior! We do not come and worship a dead Lord, but a living Lord! He lives! And we celebrate that each week.
Secondly, we live each and every day connected to the death and resurrection of Christ, as Paul says in Romans 6. On the day of our baptism, we were joined to Jesus’ Good Friday and Easter. Joined to His death and burial, His forgiveness and salvation are our forgiveness and salvation. And joined to His resurrection, we are joined to His Life, free from the power of sin and death and the devil! Our union with the crucified and risen Christ is sealed in our baptism, we belong to Him, and this is the reality that we live in each and every day!
Thirdly, through all the trouble of life, we know that our Savior lives. He ascended to the right hand of the Father to have dominion over all things. He has the victory. So if the valley of the shadow of death frightens you, you have a Shepherd who walked that path for you and rose again, so you are not alone in it. The God of life and light goes with you. If you are down about the state of politics in this country or about the trouble the future president might bring you, have the Easter peace that you belong to another kingdom in which your risen King reigns—a kingdom of eternal peace and joy! If you are frightened by the violence in the world and about the increasing hostility and persecution against Christians, you have the Easter comfort that Christ has won the victory. He is the conqueror over sin, death, the world, hell and the devil. No matter what the world brings you that Easter victory is yours through faith! God, who loves you so much that He died for your salvation, now lives and reigns above all things. You believers live under His gracious reign now and forever.
Good Friday and Easter peace and joy 24-7-365. Amen.