April 21, 2014

Fifty Days

Easter Monday can be a drag.

I feel like the bunny in this picture. Our daughter inadvertently left her rabbit on the couch near a window while we went to church. When we returned, she found flat rabbit instead of chocolate bunny.

For many of us, and particularly for clergy families, Holy Week is a marathon of services. As always, the time is amazing, experiencing the passion and resurrection, but man, come Monday, I’m exhausted. And I don’t think it’s the post-candy letdown.

I wonder then how I can take the joy from Easter Day and let it fuel me through the fifty days of Easter. In many ways, Lent is an easier season to observe. There’s a push all through Lent to engage fully in the season. We talk about our Lenten disciplines of prayer, fasting, and study. Books offer daily meditations for Lent, and the church holds special workshops, We’ve given something up or taken something on, and we’ve followed Lent Madness like a hawk. 

But Eastertide seems to get short shrift. This time of celebration for the new life granted through Jesus’ resurrection gets about a day of devotion. And then it’s Monday, post-Easter, a time one friend called a liturgical hangover. 

How then can we honor Easter in the way it deserves? One option is to continue in your daily devotion. Don’t let that forty-day habit fall the wayside, but rather build upon it. Start a new Bible study. Commit to journaling for the fifty days of Easter. Promise to spend time each day planting something new, both literally in your garden or yard, and figuratively, in your life and in your faith. 

Another option is engaging in “50 Days of Fabulous.” The brainchild of Laurie Brock, a priest in the Diocese of Lexington, and a partnership with Forward Movement, this website offers a daily dose of Easter joy. Writers, including celebrity bloggers from Lent Madness, offer daily meditations with a three-part focus: Read. Reflect. Respond. The Presiding Bishop caps off Eastertide with a reflection on Pentecost.

What other ways are you or your congregation intentionally honoring the fifty days of Easter? How are you making them fabulous?