Monday, April 05, 2010

God Back: Celebrating Eastertide

Happy Easter to one and all. Christ is risen!

I trust that your Eastertide celebrations are off to a good start. Hopefully you've put some plans together for the next 40 or 50 days.

Historically the Church has celebrated not just one day but an entire season, remembering and reveling in the fact that when Jesus rose from the dead, death died. Sin and guilt and death have been rendered powerless, and the new life of the Kingdom has invaded this world.

We've decided to do gifts in our family this Easter Season. Every Saturday night for the next 7 weeks, we have gifts for the kids, and Jenny and I have a few things for each other as well.

Maybe you could mark Eastertide with several extra dates with your wife? Maybe take the kids to the movies or bowling or maybe something as simple as the McDonald's playland? Or maybe you should push yourself creatively. Write poetry. Make music. Paint. Dance. Eat chocolate (more than usual, I mean).

Of course celebration of resurrection life should also include looking for ways to share life, give life. At Trinity, we have an Easter Festival each year with games for the kids, a big feast, dancing, and various forms of singing and entertainment. We've also made this festival a fundraiser for the local Care Net crisis pregnancy center. We want our celebration of the resurrection to be something that blesses our community.

My wife has a number of Easter-ish items out these days: flowers, a twisted wreath of thorns from our Rose bush, of course lots of jelly beans and chocolates, and a few picture story books recounting the passion and resurrection. One story book is a word for word retelling of the passion and resurrection from John's gospel artistically rendered in silhouettes, very tastefully and thoughtfully done.

Anyway, when my two year old sees that picture book she frequently grimaces slightly and with a concerned look on her face says, "God died." Sometimes she'll even go on about it a little. "God died.... Oh... hurt... Oh... died...," her face showing concern and her intonations sinking sadly with the weight of the words. Sometimes she gets to the rest of the story on her own, but sometimes we have to prompt her for the punch line. But then what happened? What happened after God died?

It's fun to watch her face light up as she remembers, and then matter-of-factly states, "God back." Which translated means that God came back from the dead. God came back. God is back. Occasionally, she toddles through the room and glancing up at the book, she nonchalantly reminds herself and the rest of the listening room, "God back."

Which is what Easter season is all about. Easter is all about living and proclaiming the fact that God is back. Back from the dead, back in fellowship with us, taking back this world with His grace and mercy.

So fill your glasses with something to warm and gladden your hearts, and share that joy with your people. God is back.

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