They said to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
Luke 24: 32-35 NRSV
Eastertide is the period of fifty days from Easter Sunday to Pentecost Sunday.
It is celebrated as a single joyful feast, indeed as the “great Lord’s Day”. Each Sunday of the season is treated as a Sunday of Easter, and, after the Sunday of the Resurrection, they are named Second Sunday of Easter, Third Sunday of Easter, etc. up to the Seventh Sunday of Easter, while the whole fifty-day period concludes with Pentecost Sunday. Wikipedia.
The Fifty Days of Easter
What do you do with the fifty days of Eastertide? For years, after I’d eaten the last of the hardboiled eggs, made the final ham sandwich and tucked away the baskets, plastic eggs and plush bunnies, Easter was over. As a pastor, I’ve found that I enjoy the days after the “great feasts” more than the events themselves. The pressure of preparation and performance is off and there is more time to breathe. I think this true for a lot of us around the church. The traditions and expectations of major celebrations can sometimes diminish the joy of those big days. We are blessed that our church observances take place over time, allowing us to settle-in and savor the depths of meaning available in the church year. The only requirement is that we pay attention and receive the gifts of each season in the cycle of our unique seasonal calendar. (Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Transfiguration, Lent, Easter, Pentecost, Ordinary Time, Reign of Christ)
Maybe now is the best time for us to join with our “eleven” or maybe it’s just one or two of our friends. We can meet anywhere and talk about the impact resurrection has on our lives. It may happen, that as we gather on the Wednesday after the Sixth Sunday of Easter, that our very own hearts will burn within us and the life of the scriptures will be opened to us and Jesus will be made known to us in the breaking of the bread or in the sharing of a cup of coffee and a cheese Danish.
The church sets dates and seasons to give order to our common life and to focus our attention on particular chapters and themes in our story. Yet, any day can be a day of resurrection, a day of incarnation, a day of repentance, a day engulfed in the flames of the Holy Spirit and sometimes we are blessed with quiet, seemingly mundane days that we can call ordinary time. May you find the presence of Jesus in the purposeful living of each day.
Christ is Risen – He is Risen Indeed.
Peace be with you,