What Seems to Matter
In the early church’s celebration of Easter, you could say there were three celebrations.
The first was over Jesus’ resurrection. Early Christians mostly focused on how that meant that the last enemy, death, had even been defeated by God. That all the walls in the creation having come down, meant that Jesus was the “firstfruits” of a new creation, the post-death new creation. “Death, where is your victory? Where, o death, is your sting?” we read in I Corinthian 15:55.
The second was for the resurrections that were now to become a part of our daily lives. Since the enemies of goodness had been conquered, there was great hope that in every day goodness could win over evil. That we were all now able to live in a new light. It is this second that I often think of as the modern church as having under-emphasized. This is the path of liberation and the promise of justice that we begin to live and work for now. “Now is the day of salvation” says II Corinthians 6:2.
The third, and maybe even more lost to our modern sensibilities, was the idea that now that the walls of separation had broken down between heaven and earth and between all people and even life after life, that we were brought into the church where there would now and forever be “no longer Greek nor Jew, no longer slave nor free, no longer male or female, for you are all one …” (this is from Galatians 3:28). Church played a great role in the early message of the Jesus-followers.
So the week of Palm Sunday to Easter became a major event in the life of the church. There were baptisms, fasts, prayer gatherings, and finally a great celebration. So I hope you have a great celebration planned. If you can make church services, do. Bring kids. Bring friends. This will be our first Easter physically together since the pandemic (yes, masks will still be on for safety, though).
If you’re not able to be here, many moments in the week and from the Sunday services will be on Facebook and YouTube.
Deepen the commitment. Open your hearts. Maybe even break down some walls!