As I’ve written about several times, I’ve been glad to find a number of other bloggers who have a strong desire to celebrate the full 50 days of Easter this year. Here is a round up of links to and excerpts from a few blog entries I’ve found helpful and encouraging over the past 10 days. A few links are repeats (last week I posted a few links but included no excerpts). Let me know in the comments if any of you readers have found helpful ideas and encouragement to help you celebrate all 50 days of Easter. — Karen
1. Christine Sine, at Godspace, has two relevant and challenging posts:
Easter Sunday is over. Jesus is risen but what have we done about it? How have our lives changed because of the life giving presence of Christ? How many of us are still sitting at the empty tomb with Mary weeping because we are worried about what has happened to the dead body rather than focusing on how to encounter the risen Christ in our lives? Or perhaps like Peter we have gone back to our pre Christ encounter jobs totally unchanged by all that Jesus has said and done. …
If we really believed that Christ’s resurrection meant that the world was changed and that his resurrection life now flows in us too surely we would live very differently. We would live by the law of God’s love
2. Tara, at the Story-Formed blog, has a beautiful illustrated post Doors (which includes one of the prayers we’ve posted here at L&B, but also a great Easter poem written by Steve Taylor at EmergentKiwi about Christ “the Door-Kicker”).
Tara also has a MUST-READ blog entry: “Practice Resurrection”, where she writes (emphasis is mine)
I was challenged and encouraged by a post by Splendor in the Ordinary about Wendell Berry’s poem that ends with the words “Practice resurrection”. I like those words – practice resurrection. It reminds me I don’t have to have it all together or do something so spectacular, but I just need to practice…everyday. In her post, Amy shared a list of things that a group of students came up with to “practice resurrection” during these 50 days of Easter. I came up with my own list at the bottom of this post, and I wonder what it would be like if all serious followers of Jesus came up with a specific list of “practices” for the next 50 days and set about doing them.
As we practice resurrection, would those around us sit and enjoy the cascading actions? Would they see the beauty of God’s story? Would they feel “spring” in their lives and taste the sweetness of new life? It seems to me that, like my cherry blossom petals, these resurrection practices are small graces. They swirl and dance wherever the current of the wind takes them. Alone, the small choices we make as individuals to practice resurrection may seem insignificant, but altogether? Well that is a different story. Because all together, as Easter people choosing to practice resurrection, our choices just might blanket the world.
So…I don’t think I am going to sweep the petals off my deck any time soon. I am going to let them linger; I am going to run my toes through them; I am going to bask in their beauty; And I am going to let them whisper their Easter song: “Practice Resurrection”!!
Just after Easter, Amy at Splendor in the Ordinary encouraged her readers to Practice Resurrection (It was Amy who inspired Tara’s post at Story-Formed quoted above.) She then followed up that post with a post on gardening: Gathering Fruit in which she wrote something that has profoundly shaped my thinking as to what this Easter season should be about for me:
Now that Easter season is here it is good to enjoy the fruits of the labor of Lent. Not that prayer and penitence end but I have found that the seasons of the church year are much like the season in nature: there are necessary times of dormancy and husbandry which bear forth into growth and harvest.
Rather than the more sober Lenten practices seeking God, we’ve been spending time enjoying the blessings of His earth, gathering in the fruits of discipline and husbandry.
I need to spend time these next weeks in actively choosing to gather together the truths the Lord has been wanting me to learn during Lent. I sense there’s a lot the Lord’s been trying to teach me that I haven’t really grabbed a hold of, that there’s fruit the Lord wants me to be enjoying but that it’s still hidden – I’ve not been looking for it. In what ways is the Lord challenging others of you to “gather the fruits” of your Lenten disciplines?
Finally, on Monday, Amy wrote a third follow up post “More on Celebrating Easter Season.” She talked about how her church congregation renewed their baptismal vows and wrote:
In light of thoughts on Easter, I was struck by the relation of baptism and Jesus’ Resurrection:
Grant, O Lord, that all who are baptized into the death of Jesus Christ your Son may live in the power of his resurrection and look for him to come again in glory; who lives and reigns now and for ever. Amen. (BCP 1979)
How am I, as a baptized believer, living in the power of the resurrection each day?
(Emphasis mine.) That is indeed the Easter question for each of us!
Amy also included a link to a great resource to help us Celebrate Easter’s 50 Days, which I’ll be posting as a stand-alone blog entry. Make sure you check it out. It’s got some really good ideas.
May the Lord help each of us to keep encouraging one another to live in the truth and joy of Christ’s resurrection during these 50 days.
Hmmmm… Maybe we should write a new hymn based on that Lenten standby Lord, who throughout these 40 days :
Lord, who throughout these forty days
For us didst fast and pray,
Teach us with Thee to mourn our sins
And close by Thee to stay. …
What would we write for an Easter Hymn: Lord throughout these FIFTY days? What did the Lord accomplish in his post-resurrection appearances during those weeks? What is He wanting us to learn from this 50 day season between Easter Sunday and Pentecost?
(posted by Karen B.)