I love the season of Easter! It is partly that spring is emerging. Trees are beginning to flower, and the daffodils are perky and the sunshine is filled with warm promises. But my love for the Easter season is about more than just spring flowers and sunshine.
A very wise teacher once remarked that Easter is really a verb. It isn’t so much an event as it is God’s action. Easter is what God does. Every year during Holy Week, we witness and remember the worst that human beings have to offer one another. We watch as Jesus was (and is) arrested, tried, crucified and buried. And on Easter morning we celebrate that God “Eastered” him. Through that gift of resurrected life, we come to know that God’s will for us is life – resurrected, abundant, eternal. Even when we are quite sure that there is no life left, God’s “Eastering” love has another word.
In so many ways, we live in a “Good Friday” world! Fear, anxiety, anger, violence, bullying, cheating, theft, incompetence…. All of that and so much more swirls around us on a daily basis. It’s easy to list off all the things that are wrong with our lives, with our churches, with our families and workplaces and schools. It’s easy to call to mind all those things that make us frightened or angry or indifferent – all the ways that we are disappointed by people or institutions. Those are long lists. We all have those Good Friday feelings of despair and helplessness.
But we are not Good Friday people! We are Easter people. Which means that God’s “Eastering” love didn’t just happen 2,000 years ago. It’s loose in the world today. God is “Eastering” our lives, our churches, our families, our schools, even our national and international politics. I see God “Eastering” when I see hungry people receiving food at our church’s Food Pantry, when I watch refugees carefully and painstakingly learning English every morning in our Fellowship Hall, when I hear stories of churches around the Iowa Conference that are making a difference in their communities and in the lives of those who gather for worship.
Easter – as an event – is over and done with. Easter – as the way God acts in the world – is just beginning. Take this season (it lasts all the way to Pentecost) and notice what God is “Eastering” in your church or your life or your community! It could surprise you.
Katherine Mulhern, Program Support/Adjunct at Iowa Conference
2030 Iowa (Young Clergy Support)
PS The computer is quite sure that Easter is NOT (and never was) a verb, and so has suggested several alternatives to the word “Eastering” – including pestering and festering! I am enjoying the thought that God’s resurrection love is “festering” in my life, as well as the image of God “pestering” us with new life when we least expect it!