Last December we celebrated the Lord’s birth. It pretty much took the whole month, and for some people, preparation for Christmas started right after Halloween, or even in August. While the commercial aspects of Christmas are overdone, and I am disappointed that so much of the celebration is about St. Nicholas rather than the Lord, I am delighted that the birth of Jesus Christ has an important place on our calendar.
Easter has typically been a more somber celebration in the Christian world, partly because focusing on death is not as joyful as focusing on birth (especially when death comes with a lack of knowledge about resurrection and heaven). Even more, Easter has been less uplifting because the holiday has been suffused with the idea that Jesus’ suffering and death was a punishment from an angry Father God, a punishment that should have come to us.
In our Community Service last February, Rev. Malcolm Smith spoke about the preparation for Easter. What if we took a whole month to think about Easter the way we take a month to think about Christmas? We might get our minds going that way by signing up for the Easter readings online (visit www.newchurch.org/easter) to get some spiritual daily vitamins to boost our Easter energy. Easter is still a month away, so it’s not too late to sign up. You can also get the printed booklet at the Cathedral or Church Office.
Another way to increase your Easter spirit is to participate in some of the celebrations. Join a choir or team to help with music for our services. Volunteer to be a part of the Easter Garden walk-through, or to help with Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, or other services. Make plans for an Easter meal with family, or even better, invite someone who is lonely to join you.
We say that Christmas is the season to be jolly. What is Easter? Is it the season to be hopeful? To be compassionate? To know that in all the suffering in this world the Lord’s pure love and compassion is at work to lift us up into eternal happiness? Let’s give the Lord’s resurrection as much attention and gratitude that we give to His birth.