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Easter is a season
pastor corner

Rev. Dr. Devin Strong

Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church

According to Google, Americans spent $700 million attending horror movies in 2022. There is something about us that is attracted to the gruesome, the violent, and the ugly. There are whole books exploring the psychology of serial killers and entire television networks dedicated to True Crime.

Even among Christians, there is a special fascination with violence, at least when it comes to Good Friday.

Many movies explore the pain and the depth of Jesus’ crucifixion. Mel Gibson’s movie, The Passion of Christ, took us, seemingly minute by minute, through the last hours of Jesus’ life. Though the film came out years ago, it is still a classic among believers, and many Christians reported seeing this movie as a powerful spiritual event.

It is important to experience our Good Fridays.

There’s so much about our world that is imperfect, messed up, and dead-ended.

Our faith calls us to confess our sins and the extreme depth of our own brokenness. Only by acknowledging the truth of our fallenness can we grasp the full meaning of joyful forgiveness. But our Christian faith does not end on Good Friday. It carries us all the way to Easter.

There is a time for Good Friday, and a time to leave all horror, ugliness, and death behind for New Life.

I wish that Hollywood was more interested in making Easter movies than Good Friday movies. For that matter, I wish Christians were more moved by Easter than Good Friday.

Easter is not a season of perfection. Even after Jesus’ resurrection, you and I are still sinners, but because of Easter, we are forgiven and set free like never before. It is a time of acting boldly and joyfully. Easter is for serving with abandon. It is a time for generosity and laughter, of kindness and letting grudges go. Easter is about beginning again in Jesus’ name.

In the Lutheran church, Easter is an entire season, lasting 50 days all the way to Pentecost because the meaning and the power of Jesus come back to life cannot be contained in a single day.

In the Sundays after Easter, we hear Sunday morning readings about the disciples, empowered by the Spirit, teaching and doing miracles like never before. They act with boldness and live as forgiven sinners. The Easter season reminds us of just what we are capable of now that the risen Lord is on the loose.

Yes, we still have to go to work after Easter. There is still homework to be done and tests to take. Families still fight, and loved ones still die, but because of Easter, we know that death is not the end. We know that the greatest force in the universe has broken out of the grave once and for all. We know that death will not have the last word, and we know that our own sin will not defeat us. Because of Easter, we have hope. Because of Easter, we have joy, and because of Easter, we have a story to share.

If Christians will simply live as Easter people, Jesus can change the world.

God loves you, and so do I!

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