Our Easter best has been put in the laundry, maybe even washed and dried. Easter lunch is now leftovers, or maybe even gone. The Easter eggs have been found, and any remaining eggs are definitely starting to smell (or are being hidden by snow). The Easter chocolate is probably long gone, and the peeps are stale (though that is when they are best)
It’s the week after Easter.
But Easter is not over.
On the secular calendar, Easter is just a day. On the church calendar, Easter is a season. And, I would argue, Easter is a lifestyle. Because Jesus calls us, not just to believe the resurrection, but to live the resurrection.
Here’s the thing, we believe the resurrection changes everything, and yet we must also admit that there is still pain, suffering, and heartbreak in our world. Put another way, when Jesus rose from the dead, we didn’t immediately enter a utopian world.
We often talk about this reality as the already-not-yet kingdom of God. That means, in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, something really happened. God’s reign and power really came, and we see that power demonstrated throughout the Gospels. But God’s kingdom is also still coming. And so, when we look around, we see things such as pain and brokenness and suffering and grief because the kingdom of God is not yet fully here.
Author Kate Bowler, in reflecting on life after Easter asks the question, how do we live beautifully inside things we cannot change?
The truth is, we as humans cannot simply remove the pain, brokenness, suffering and grief from our lives or from the world. That is the work of God. And the promise is, there will be a day when there are no more tears and no more sorrow.
But until then, I appreciate Kate Bowler’s question, how do we live beautifully right now, even surrounded by things we cannot change?
And my answer, at least in part, is that we become people who work towards bringing God’s kingdom, or glimpses of God’s kingdom, to earth. That is the work of the church. That is our work as First Presbyterian Church.
To know what such work looks like, we can consider Jesus’ life. His welcome of the stranger, his love of the children, his going to places most people wouldn’t go, his touching the outcast, his speaking with the sinner.
Perhaps a life like that, or a church like that, is what it means to live beautifully even when surrounded by things we cannot change.
Grace and peace, Kimmy