Still Celebrating Easter?

“My God, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me…”

From John 17:24

Last Wednesday was the first warm and sunny day we’d had in a while. Early on, my husband headed to the garage to begin his planting. Mike worked on his pots and planters while I trimmed a few boxwood bushes which had done serious battle with the frost. I swept the patio and arranged the furniture there while Mike ran to the garden shop for a few more plants. After lunch, my favorite gardener returned to his flowers and I reluctantly headed upstairs to begin this writing.

Since Memorial Day was only five days away, I had a difficult time returning my thoughts to Easter. After all, we’d sung our alleluias and enjoyed that wonderful lamb dinner almost five weeks earlier. Even those pesky remnants of Easter grass (Which continue to linger!) didn’t help much. It was the sunshine pouring through the study window which finally drew my thoughts to Easter’s joy. “How can I have lost sight of that?” I asked myself aloud…

At church, we actually celebrate Easter for eight weeks. On paper, the Easter Season closes on Pentecost Sunday. Still, the warm rays which caused the window and study floor to glow said otherwise. Regardless of the calendar’s date, the sun persisted in doing its job. Even through clouds and the worst of storms, the sun’s warmth makes its way to us. The sun is always there. It occurred to me that the same is true regarding Easter Joy. It’s always there, too.

Those who walked with Jesus celebrated Easter for what remained of their earthly lives. Their faith in the things to come inspired them to share what they knew with everyone they met along the way. The sun lingering overhead reminded me that you and I are invited to do the same.

Generous God, thank you for the gentle nudges which remind us to celebrate Easter Joy always.

©2019 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved

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Easter Again

“Father, they are your gift to me.
I wish that where I am they also may be with me…”

From John 17:24

Our Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies and colored eggs are long forgotten. We celebrated Easter the last Sunday of March and my thoughts have since turned to flowers for our yard and summertime with our grandchildren. This changed two weeks ago when I ran into a friend who is an Orthodox Christian. This year, she celebrated Easter on May 1. I ran into her in the midst of Holy Week shopping for her long-anticipated Easter meal. “Easter is so late this year!” she observed. I offered her my best wishes for a wonderful holy day both at church and with her family and then watched as she continued on her busy way.

We Christians celebrate the Easter Season for eight weeks. Those of us who observe the Gregorian Calendar will end those eight weeks with tomorrow’s Feast of Pentecost. I can’t help asking myself, “Where has the time gone?” I was extremely busy for most of Lent and all of Holy Week. Though most of my activities were church-oriented, I somehow lost the focus of my efforts once Easter had come and gone. My “Easter Spirit” seems to have disappeared along with that lengthy to-do list.

It occurs to me that those who walked with Jesus two millenniums ago kept their Easter Spirit for what remained of their lives on this earth. It was their faith in the things to come which gave them the courage and the drive to share what they knew with everyone they met along the way. My Orthodox friend will officially celebrate Easter for another six weeks. Her kind and faith-filled demeanor tell me that she will celebrate far longer, just as Jesus’ first friends did. Thanks to her, I am reminded that I am invited to do the same.

Generous God, thank you for the gentle nudges which remind me to celebrate your gifts every day in all that I do.

©2016 Mary Penich – All Rights Reserved