After waking up in a hotel on the outskirts of Houston this morning, I spontaneously decided to delay the start of my workday for a few hours and take a drive into the city. I drove past marshes, near-empty bayous, and through some of the rougher parts of town before ending up in The Heights, where I stopped in to a local coffeehouse in a fun urban district on 19th Street.
As I sat there, I began to reflect on how the events that happened yesterday affect today. While the resurrection did not literally happen yesterday, it was in our thoughts more yesterday than it is most days of the year. Now that Easter Sunday has come and gone, how does that affect my today? Do I return to my normal life and patterns of thoughts until 6 weeks out next year, when Lent 2015 begins? Certainly not!
The resurrection of Christ inaugurated the new way of the Kingdom, which Jesus proclaimed was “at hand”. The Kingdom of God is an alternative society for those who seek to live under the rule and reign of the government of God, where the reality of Heaven is becoming and someday will become fully true on earth. The Kingdom of God is a shelter from the storm of the current state of affairs, until the day when the kingdoms of this world will become the Kingdom of our God, and of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end (Isaiah 9:7).
In light of all of this, the extent to which we love one another today will show the world how much we believe in what happened yesterday, how much we believe that the Kingdom is truly at hand.
Since I grew up in a more modern stream of the Evangelical Church, I’m just now becoming familiar with Liturgy and the Church Calendar. I’ve recently learned that Easter is actually a 7-week celebration, not just a 1-day event. (By recently, I mean I just discovered this last night.) As Glenn Packiam pointed out, Lent is a 6-week fast and Easter is a 7-week celebration, which tells us that the feast always outlasts the fast.
The 7-week celebration of Easter leads us into Pentecost, which signifies the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is significant to us today as a reminder that Christ has gone up and the Holy Spirit has come down to comfort and empower us as we seek to partner with the Father in redeeming and restoring creation, until the day when Jesus returns and new creation is fully established, as foretold in Revelation 21. And so, as you begin this season of celebrating the resurrection of our Savior, may your heart be ignited by the joy and life that resurrection brings.