Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

This is the traditional greeting of Christians all over the world for the season of Easter. Our season of preparation has come to a close, and a season of rejoicing is upon us. The alleluias have been unleashed. We have fasted for forty days; now we feast for fifty.

Many of us may only think of Easter as a one-day event. Indeed, when you go into the stores tomorrow all of the Easter candy and decorations will have already made their way to the clearance aisle. Instead of Easter lilies and Cadbury chocolates, there will be Mums for Mom and Mother’s Day cards. But Easter has only just begun.

Jesus appeared to his disciples for 40 days following his resurrection from the dead (Acts 1:3). He shared meals with them. He traveled with them. He met them individually in private circumstances. He appeared to a crowd of 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6). The resurrection of Jesus wasn’t just an event; it was a new life lived with his disciples.

During Lent, we have persevered through different fasts. Together we fasted from social media, alcohol, complaining, news, yelling, & food for 40 days. I pray some of these fasts continue! But now we are called to a different spiritual discipline: the discipline of celebration. In his book The Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster writes: “Celebration is at the heart of the way of Christ. He entered the world on a high note of jubilation: ‘I bring you good news of a great joy,’ cried the angel, ‘which shall come to all the people’ (Lk 2:10). He left the world bequeathing His joy to the disciples: ‘These things I have spoken to you that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full’ (Jn 15:11).” Christian living is marked by joy (Galatians 5:22; Philippians 4:4). As Christians, we celebrate this new resurrected life that Jesus shares with us. Death is not the end for us. Death and Hell have been trampled over by the victory of Jesus. The reality of Jesus’s resurrection is not a once a year event for the Christian; it is a new lived reality every day.

As we begin this new season of rejoicing, I pray that the resurrection of Jesus and our freedom from sin and death would be front and center in homes and our lives. Unleash the alleluias and rejoice over what God has done for us…not just today, but always.

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

David+