Recently, I was asked what determines when we celebrate Easter Sunday? Before you read any further, do you know the answer?
Easter Sunday is held on the first Sunday after the first full moon occurring on or after the vernal equinox, the moment the Sun crosses the celestial equator (the imaginary line in the sky above the Earth’s equator) from south to north (www.timeanddate.com). In other words, Easter Sunday is tied to the transitions of nature so that the date moves from year to year.
There are lots of reason why it was set up this way. Here are two I like. First, Easter is connected to a change in the seasons. Something new is happening. The world is on the brink of change and will look different soon. Second, Easter doesn’t have a specific date. That connects with the church’s view that every Sunday is a celebration of Easter. It isn’t just once a year that we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. Easter is the way we live our faith, ask our questions, offer our prayers, gather as the body of Christ, serve in and through our shared ministry, mature as disciples of Jesus Christ.
The Bible never says celebrate Easter on one specific day. Instead, it encourages disciples to live Easter’s good news of new life in the resurrection of Jesus Christ everyday. The greatest way we can do that is to do what the first disciples did. They gave testimony to how they saw the Lord.
Jesus appeared in all kinds of places — in locked rooms, along the road, in the midst of fear and doubt, injustice and despair, to people who longed for meaning, purpose, wholeness and faith, and certainly in the joys of being found, healings, people being feed, the discovery of God’s way and will.
Where do you see Jesus? How are you experiencing new life in this Easter season? The good news of Easter tells us that wherever we look, regardless of what day it is, Jesus is there, waiting to be seen, waiting for our eyes to open and see new life and new possibilities.
As you look through this edition of The Disciple newsletter, I hope that your eyes will be opened to the wonderful ways God is working through us and calling you into new life and encouraging you to be a part of sharing it in your own life and in our life together. God’s new life is at work in us and around us! When I see the breadth and impact of our ministry, I can’t help but say, “I have seen the Lord!”
Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed!
See you in church,