By Pastor Devin Strong, Spirit of Peace Lutheran Church.
The celebrations of Easter weekend — Easter egg hunts, family gatherings and special Sunday services — are behind us now. However, from a Christian point of view, Easter’s not just a single day; liturgically, we celebrate the season of Easter for approximately the next seven weeks (50 days), from Easter Sunday until Pentecost (meaning 50th). Easter’s not just one day of going to church, hiding eggs and eating ham with our relatives — it’s meant to be a season of transformational experiences that can become a lifestyle. The transformation the apostles experienced from Easter through Pentecost was nothing short of incredible! In the Gospels, they were sort of a hot-and-cold- running bunch.
Sometimes they got it, sometimes they didn’t.
Before that first Easter season, they often struggled to understand Jesus’s teachings, and certainly struggled to figure out their own roles. You might remember that on Maundy Thursday before Easter Sunday, Peter couldn’t even admit to knowing the Messiah but, afterwards, he was giving sermons proclaiming His triumph over death!
When I read the book of Acts — my favorite book of the Bible — I see that, until their post-Easter transformation, the disciples were just ordinary people. But after witnessing that empty tomb, they all began to understand what the resurrected life meant to them personally.
It’s good that we celebrate the season for seven weeks because — much like the disciples — sometimes we just don’t get it on the first shot. With everything going on in our lives these days, maybe we didn’t even feel Easter Sunday was particularly powerful this year, much less that it sparked a major transformation.
Maybe it helps knowing that the disciples’ transformation had to sink in little by little, story after story. It wasn’t as if on Sunday, they didn’t get it, but on Monday they did — it was a process.
There was grace in their process, and there’s grace in ours too. So, if hearing Jesus loved you and the tomb was empty didn’t quite register the first time, remember