Although it was different this year, Easter is still the pinnacle of the liturgical year.
I've always liked that the pinnacle of the liturgical year—Easter—is buried in the middle and not at the beginning or end. It feels right based on my experience of pinnacle moments. We are led to a moment. And then led beyond it. Time continues to unfold without pausing for THE THING WHICH HAS HAPPENED.
Does that ring familiar with you, too?
On Easter Sunday, we celebrated the resurrection of Christ from the grave. This event that forms the foundation of our faith invites us to deepen our belief in the mysterious paradox that life follows death.
In theological terms, this is called the paschal mystery.
In practical terms, the ability to celebrate anything at all right now seems its own kind of mystery—a miracle that we are only able to welcome and receive by grace. Though that's always true, I actually had eyes to see it this year. I take that as its own grace.
Our call to receive that miracle is not behind us. The broader season of Easter, or Eastertide, lasts fifty days.
This year, more than ever, I believe we will need every one of those fifty days. We will need this entire season to believe in and practice the resurrection that is not only Jesus' but also—in him and through him—ours. We will need reminders of God's faithfulness and goodness throughout the course of history and present in the midst of this still-unfolding pandemic.
What I love about the liturgical year is that it teaches us how to be fully human. And, we rehearse what will be many seasons in our lives by following the life of Christ and the life of the Church so closely. We know how to wait and prepare for something hard...that is the gift of Lent. We know how to wait and prepare for something joyful...that is our practice in Advent. We know how to move onward with a sense of mission and purpose, even as so many days and weeks pass that we must count them Ordinary Time.
Nonetheless, I must confess my own weariness. I am tired of the constant demand to be creative and adaptable. My reserves feel depleted—and the miracle is that they are not each time I dip my cup again.
I am grateful to see how many people, organizations, churches, and businesses are stretching to tap into (and build) their own adaptability and creativity. Those are amazingly helpful skills to have and they lay dormant without the cultivation that this time invites. Yet, grief for the world still lays heavy on my heart.
How are you celebrating Easter this season? How are you living into the paschal mystery? How are you cultivating creativity and adaptability to serve and extend hospitality (and just stay sane)?
Alongside you in the Eastertide/Pandemic-tide tension,
P. S. One thing keeping me sane right now are the recommendations from Team Sacred Ordinary Days (and you!) in #kindredteatime each week. We've talked meal resources, quarantine survival, and what we're drinking lately, If you're not into Instagram stories, you can check them all out on our blog.