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Warm Greetings!

As we were planning the March and April potluck dinners at church, we were discussing whether it would be too late to do an Easter hymn sing-along in April. Easter Sunday would be over by then, so maybe we should do it in March? This conversation was a great opportunity to remember how holidays and seasons tend to be very different in the church versus out in the world.

Out in the world around us, our holiday experiences tend to be a lot about waiting for the day to come, big celebration the day of (or whenever your family and friends can get together) and then we’re done and moving on to the next holiday to wait for, anticipate, and of course, decorate for. Very one and done-esque. (I know that’s not really a word, but the English language lets us create weird combos that totally work! J)

In the liturgical seasons and holidays of the church, we create spaces to help us prepare for big holy days, like Christmas and Easter. Before Christmas we celebrate Advent, before Easter, Lent. Both Advent and Lent call us to be intentional and thoughtful about our preparations, slow down and experience our anticipation. Then when we’ve done the work of preparing our hearts, minds, bodies, and souls, we Celebrate! But the Church is very much not One and done-esque.

While everyone else is putting away their Christmas and Easter decorations, the church has really just started! Our Christmas season goes on for 12 days! Remember the 12 Days of Christmas song? It doesn’t start until Christmas day…and then that party builds! (I guess the song was composed to help Catholics celebrate their faith in England from 1558 until 1829 when Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly).

The same goes for Easter. Our Easter celebrations don’t even start until Easter Sunday and then they go for fifty, yes 5-0, days until Pentecost. I often think the Church aims to live into that phrase, “Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses.” We as a faithful community don’t want to just move on from these important markers and moments in our faith. Instead, we want them to teach us, shape us, help us have a deeper appreciation for our God, and all that God is and has done.

If you’re tempted to move on and start decorating for the next holiday, may I suggest a pause. We’ve only just begun celebrating that our Savior lives! We’ve only just begun celebrating Christ’s victory over death, and sin, and evil, and the brokenness of this world! We’ve only just begun celebrating that we’ve been forgiven and reconciled back to our Father in Heaven!

Don’t put away your Easter celebrations quite yet! Stop and experience God’s overwhelming love for you, stop and celebrate that your Savior lives, stop and live into the Joy of the season!! Keep the party going!

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!


In the Risen Christ,

Pastor Anne

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